Saddam's Death, Page 17
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 16 - august-september 2012

"Nasser, as the activist leader of Pan-Arabism, became an idealized model for Saddam Hussein. At age 20, inspired by Nasser, Saddam joined the Arab Ba'th socialist Party in Iraq and quickly impressed party officials with his dedication. Two years later, in 1956, apparently emulating Nasser, Iraqi Army General Qassem led a coup which ousted the monarchy. But unlike Nasser, Qassem did not pursue the path of socialism and turned against the Ba'th party. ... Saddam went to Egypt to study law, rising to leadership ranks in the Egyptian Ba'th Party. He returned to Iraq after 1963 when Qassem was ousted by the Ba'ths and was elected to the National Command.
Michel Aflaq, the ideological father of the Ba'th party, admired young Hussein, declaring the Iraqi Ba'th party the finest in the world.... (Dr. Jerrold M. Post)

"Gamal Abdel-Nasser continues to inhabit Egypt because, like Bonaparte, he is the representative of an age of certain national glory, despite the mistakes and the military debacle. But there is more to it than this. Above all, he symbolises for Egyptians the expression of their independent national will. It is this that remains. It is in this that we must seek our project for the future" (Liberating Nasser's legacy, Al-Ahram Weekly 2000)

Adieu BlairSeven is explodingww.rense.comJustin Raimondo





Saddam began rebuilding the ruins of ancient Babylon. Saddam put up a large mural of himself next to Nebuchadrezzar at the entrance to the ruins. And echoing Nebuchadrezzar's practice, Saddam had his own name inscribed on the bricks used in the reconstruction. The inscriptions are reported to read: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq"

Babylon

An ancient Semitic city in the Euphrates valley, which after 2250 B.C., as the capital of Babylonia, became a center of world commerce and of the arts and sciences, its life marked by luxury and magnificence. The city in which they built the Tower of Babel, its location coincides approximately with that of the modern city of Baghdad - now the center of a vast agricultural community. The Babylonians attached great importance to the motions of the planets, accurately fixed their orbits and worked out tables of the phases of the Moon, whereby eclipses could be correctly predicted. Their great astrological work, "The Illumination of Bel," was compiled within the period of 2100-1900 B.C..
Babylon is generally conceded to have been the cradle of astrology. It was overthrown in 539 A.D., by Xerxes, the Persian. (www.astrologyweekly.com/)


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)


Zie ook: Gilad Atzmon & Het tribalisme

The Arab Leaque & The Arab Homeland - Wikipedia Info

arab league meeting 2010 The Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland while respecting the sovereignty of the individual member states. ...
Governance of the Arab League has been based on the duality of supra-national institutions and the sovereignty of the member states.
Preservation of individual statehood derived its strengths from the natural preference of ruling elites to maintain their power and independence in decision making.
Moreover, the fear of the richer that the poorer may share their wealth in the name of Arab nationalism, the feuds among Arab rulers, and the influence of external powers that might oppose Arab unity can be seen as obstacles towards a deeper integration of the league.

Flashback: Gadhafi Criticizes the Arab League
By Bridget Johnson, About.com

arab league meeting 2010 "At the annual Arab summit Moammar Gadhafi criticised Arab countries for doing nothing while the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and overthrew Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president.
...In his speech, the Libyan leader also criticised Arab disunity and inaction on the region's multiple crises.
'Where is the Arabs' dignity, their future, their very existence? Everything has disappeared,' he said.
'Our blood and our language may be one, but there is nothing that can unite us.'

We are our own enemy

Gaddafi also mocked a plan by the Arab League to start Arab cooperation on a joint nuclear programme.
'How can we do that? We hate each other, we wish ill of each other and our intelligence services conspire against each other. We are our own enemy.'"


Flashback: Mohammed Gaddafi - Escape to Hell
Libyan Free Press, 3-4-2012

How cruel people can be when they flare up together! What a crushing flood that has no mercy for anyone in its way! It does not heed one’s cry or lend one a hand when one is in dire need of help. On the contrary, it flings one about heedlessly.

The individual’s tyranny is the easiest kind of tyranny. He is only one among many, who can get rid of him when they wish. He could even be liquidated somehow by somebody unimportant. But the tyranny of the masses is the cruellest kind of tyranny.

Who can stand against the crushing current and the blind engulfing power?! How I love the liberated masses on the march! They are unfettered, with no master, singing and merry after their terrible ordeals! On the other hand how I fear and apprehend them!
I love the masses as much as I love my father. Similarly, I fear them no less than I fear him.


Establishment and protection of justice

"He who stands up against injustice, should himself refrain from causing injustice to others, and should remember that speaking of justice will be meaningless if capital is allowed rule beyond its limits or influence the process of decision-making.
Political and legal justice remains meaningless without social and economic justice. The fight against the wolves and the corruptors will not succeed, if they have contacts and partners inside the corridors of government and the palaces of the Sultan.
All of this, in order to be achieved, requires the establishment and protection of justice. Authority must have its sward while power must have its own mind, eyes and good conscience."

Saddam Hoessein,
on the occasion of the 34th anniversay of the 17-30 july revolution

The color WHITE

So we stand unshaken, clear in our mind and vision as to truth against falsehood, the colour black, which represents darkness, wickedness and aberration, as opposed to the colour white which represents truth, justice, fairness, purity, virtue, adherence to principles and defending these principles against those who abandoned them..., blind in both heart and conscience." Saddam Hussein, 16-11-2002

Mahmoud Abbas addresses the UN
"Prevent the occurence of a new Nakba"
Information Clearing House, 27-9-2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Developments over the past year have confirmed what we have persistently drawn attention to and warned of: the catastrophic danger of the racist Israeli settlement of our country, Palestine.

During the past months, attacks by terrorist militias of Israeli settlers have become a daily reality, with at least 535 attacks perpetrated since the beginning of this year...
The escalation of settler attacks should not surprise anyone, for it is the inherent byproduct of the continuation of occupation and a government policy that deliberately fosters the settlements and settlers and deems their satisfaction to be an absolute priority....
Over the past year, since the convening of the General Assembly's previous session, Israel, the occupying Power, has persisted with its settlement campaign, focusing on Jerusalem and its environs. ...
The occupying Power has also continued its construction and expansion of settlements in different areas throughout the West Bank and continued its suffocating blockade as well as raids and attacks against our people in the Gaza Strip, who to this day continue to suffer from the disastrous impact of the destructive war of aggression committed against them years ago.

At the same time, the occupying Power continues to tighten the siege and impose severe restrictions on movement, preventing the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) from implementing vital infrastructure projects and providing services to its citizens, who are also being prevented from cultivating their land and deprived of water for irrigation. It is also obstructing the establishment of agricultural, industrial, tourism and housing projects by the private sector in vast areas of the Occupied Palestinian Authority, which are classified as areas subject to the absolute control of the occupation, which encompasses approximately 60% of the West Bank.
The occupying Power continues to deliberately demolish what the PNA is building, projects funded by donor brethren and friends, and destroying PNA projects involving the building of roads, simple homes for its citizens and agricultural facilities. ...

Israel's overall policy is ultimately leading to the weakening of the Palestinian National Authority, undermining its ability to carry out its functions and to implement its obligations, which threatens to undermine its very existence and threatens its collapse.
There can only be one understanding of the Israeli Government's actions in our homeland and of the positions it has presented to us regarding the substance of a permanent status agreement to end the conflict and achieve peace. That one understanding leads to one conclusion: that the Israeli Government rejects the two-State solution.

The recent years have actually witnessed the systematic acceleration and intensification of Israeli measures aimed at emptying the Oslo Accords of their meaning, while simultaneously building facts on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that are making the implementation of the Accords extremely difficult if not completely impossible.
Israel refuses to end the occupation and refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom and rejects the independence of the State of Palestine.

Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba.


Apartheid leader lectures the UN
Mazin Qumsiyeh, 28-9-2012

The Prime Minister of Apartheid Israel just lectured the United Nations General Assembly! He spent most of his time nagging those present as if they were school children about Iran. He even insulted their intelligence by showing them a diagram of a "bomb" and drawing a red line on it (yes literally with an actual red marker)....
Netanyahu dismissed Mahmoud Abbas's speech with just one sentence "we won't solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN or unilateral declarations of statehood."
He dismissed all Palestinians and their rights by claiming they need to recognize a "Jewish state" then they could be allowed a vague but "demilitarized state".

Netanyahu's war mongering and idiotic speech merely confirmed the obvious conclusion about this rogue state: it is run by lunatics.

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine.He is author of "Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle" and “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment”


Why Netanyahu Really wants to Destroy Iran
Juan Cole, 28-9-2012

Iran isn’t, contrary to what Netanyahu alleged, a year away from having a nuclear weapon. Iran can’t construct a nuclear weapon at all as long as it is being actively inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which it is...
So what is really driving all this noise about Iran? It is the Israeli right wing’s competition with the Palestinians. In the past few years, Israel has vastly expanded the number of Israeli squatters on Palestinian land in the West Bank:

Israeli squatters, backed by Netanyahu, are attempting to make a Palestinian state impossible. Netanyahu’s plan is to keep the Palestinians (some 12 million strong, 4 million of them in the Occupied Territories) stateless and without citizenship rights forever. People without a state have no institutions that would enforce their claims on property or on basic human rights, and so they are open to being treated, in a way, like slaves and constantly stolen from, as the Palestinians are.

Israel’s policy has long been to use its close relationship with the United States to domesticate or destroy any country in the region that gives hope to the Palestinians that they might one day get their own state.
The Israeli military, backed and resupplied by the US, beat Egypt and Jordan into accepting a separate peace. Lebanon’s economy was destroyed more than once. Netanyahu argued hard for a US war on Iraq, and the American Neocons who fomented that war began by writing a position paper for Netanyahu himself arguing for an invasion of Iraq...
Now, Iran is more or less the last man standing. Iran, and its unstable ally, Baathist Syria, are the only major Middle Eastern countries that strongly support the Palestinians, though admittedly more in speeches than practically. The rest have either given in (Egypt, Jordan) or de facto acquiesced in Israel expansionism into the West Bank...

Netanyahu wants to remove all hope from the Palestinians, so as to keep them permanently stateless and to ensure that their land is available for Israeli encroachment.

Kofi Annan: Tony Blair could have stopped Iraq war
Jo Adetunji, guardian.co.uk, 29-9-2012

Tony Blair could have stopped the Iraq war had he decided to walk away from a partnership with the US, the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has claimed.
In an interview to launch his memoirs, Annan said he had reflected on what would have happened if, without a second UN resolution over Iraq, Blair had refused to go to war with Iraq in 2003.

Steve Bell cartoon "I will forever wonder what would have happened if, without a second [UN] resolution ... Blair had said 'George [Bush], this is where we part company. You're on your own'," he told the Times. "I really think it could have stopped the war ... It would have given the Americans a pause. It would have given them a very serious pause to think it through ... All this would have raised a question: 'Do we go this alone?'"
While Annan argued that neither his resignation as UN secretary general or that of then US secretary of state, Colin Powell, would have changed the course of military action, Blair could have made a difference had he spoken out. "Because of the special relationship and also the fact that ... when you think of the big countries, Britain was the only one that teamed up with [Bush]," Annan said. "Blair had the potential to be one of the most brilliant politicians of his time and really for a period was a star. And now you ask me the questions, 'What went wrong? What changed him?' It is very difficult to say," he said.

Anann's disappointment in Blair is also reflected in his memoirs, 'Interventions – A Life in War and Peace...' Annan recounts a meeting with Blair in 2006 over a bloody conflict between Israel and the Shia Islamic militant group Hezbollah, which he said the former British prime minister saw simplistically – like Iraq – "a meta-conflict between modernity and the medieval, between tolerant secularism and radical Islam".
"This was not the Blair with whom I had agreed so passionately about the moral necessity of a humanitarian intervention to halt the Serbian attacks on the Kosovar Albanians in 1999 ...
Something had changed in Blair, and with it, I felt, his ability to act as a credible mediator," he said.


Interventions – A Life in War and Peace
Book Description

Receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2001, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke to a world still reeling from the terrorist attacks of September 11.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” proclaimed Annan, “we have entered the third millennium through a gate of fire. If today, after the horror of 11 September, we see better, and we see further — we will realize that humanity is indivisible. New threats make no distinction between races, nations, or regions....”
Yet within only a few years the world was more divided than ever...

Interventions: A Life in War and Peace is the story of Annan’s remarkable time at the center of the world stage...
Showing the successes of the United Nations, Annan also reveals the organization’s missed opportunities and ongoing challenges — inaction in the Rwanda genocide, continuing violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and the endurance of endemic poverty.

Hamdeen Sabahi: "Islamists are a minority in Egypt"
Ahram online/Aswat Masreya, 30 Sep 2012

Popular Egyptian leftist politician and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy (born 5 July 1954) said on Saturday he is confident a coalition of leftist groups [..] will be strong enough to defeat Islamists and win a parliament majority...
According to [almost-always smiling populist] Sabahy, Islamists are a minority in Egypt and their sweeping victory in politics over the past year and half after the anti-Mubarak revolt is due to their strong organisational and grassroots skills, which he said is working to emulate in his new liberal front.
"This front will end the contradiction that is happening in Egypt now with the organised minority acquiring the majority in parliament, and the presidency, while the divided majority hold a minority in parliament," Sabahy said.

Sabahy is a staunch follower of Egypt's former socialist president Gamal Abdel Nasser, a popular pan-Arab-leader who had a powerful popularity base among Egyptians and Arabs in the 1950s and '60s but was hated by the West for his opposition to Israel, with which he fought two wars in 1956 and 1967.

"I am against using religion in politics and hence I will remain an opponent to Islamists but a decent opponent who would criticise their policies and run against them in elections but not ban or fight their existence," he said.

Wikipedia: Quotes
click for Wikipedia info * "Egypt must remain at the core of the Arab nation. This is its identity and destiny ... the revival of Egypt is not a matter of ideology alone. We have to have a vision for revival. And my vision leans heavily on the experience of Abdel-Nasser."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
* "I have opposed both Sadat and Mubarak and criticised their policies. Under Sadat and Mubarak, Egypt abandoned its leading role in the Arab world to become a party to the US-Zionist vision for the region. We went from being a country that sides with the poor and stands for social justice to one that believes in open-door policies."(Al-Ahram, April 2012)
* "The people are in need for a candidate who will provide them with decent living conditions, must respect religion, but not necessarily of religious origin."(Aswat Masriya, February 2012)


The Green Book. Qaddafi’s Third Way

"Knowledge is a natural right of every human being which nobody has the right to deprive him of under any pretext except in a case where a person himself does something which deprives him of that right. Ignorance will come to an end when everything is presented as it actually is and when knowledge about everything is available to each person in the manner that suits him." Muammar Gaddafi

The Green Book is a three-part collection of political thoughts, social and economic theories and day-to-day how-to guides by Libya’s Muammar el Qaddafi. The book sums up Qaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory,” designed to be an alternative to capitalism and “atheistic communism.”
It also expounds on the role of women, men, “black people,” music and education in everyday life. In Qaddafi’s words, “THE GREEN BOOK presents the ultimate solution to the problem of the instrument of government, and indicates for the masses the path upon which they can advance from the age of dictatorship to that of genuine democracy.

Qaddafi’s Inspirations

Most important inspiration for his book was Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Philosophy of the Revolution (1954), where Nasser lays out his ideas about pan-Arab nationalism and his intention to be not only the Arab world’s leader, but Africa’s, too. Nasser was Qaddafi’s foremost influence as Qaddafi was growing up. (Source)

Pragmatic and logical approach

Gamal Abdel Nasser was a giant of the twentieth century who curiously is not well-remembered today. He was ahead of his times. The world powers that constantly opposed his attempts to mainstream Egypt into the world while he was alive may long for his forward-looking pragmatic and logical approach compared to the backward-looking Islamist extremism rife in the region today. ...
Nasser wrote a short personal book titled “Egypt’s Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution” about his ideas and dreams. It reveals a sweeping yet deeply analytical mind and acute observer of human behavior whose periods of disillusionment and exhilaration were intense. First published in 1955, his book was all but ignored by the world. (Rompedas 23-7-2009)

DOROTHY THOMPSON: Abdul Nasser was looking for constructive ideas, for men ready to subject their personal ambitions, interests, and hatreds to a concentrated and consecrated effort for the renaissance of the nation.

"We needed order but we found nothing behind us but chaos. We needed unity . . . we found dissension. We needed work . . . we found indolence and sloth. . . . Every man we questioned had nothing to recommend except to kill someone else. Every idea we listened to was nothing but an attack on some other idea. If we had gone along with everything we heard we would have killed off all the people and torn down every idea, and there would have been nothing to do but sit down among the corpses and ruins. ...
"We were deluged with petitions and complaints . . . but most of these cases were no more or less than demands for revenge, as though a revolution had taken place in order to become a weapon in the hand of hatred and vindictiveness."

"Too many people who have made themselves commanders"
Independent, 1-10-2012
Syrian rebels' backers block arms cache until bickering factions unite

Stockpiles of arms, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, are being held in Turkey for use by rebels in Syria [..], but their distribution is being held up because of disunity and feuding between the different groups of fighters, The Independent has learned.
In high-level discussions, Qatari and Turkish suppliers told opposition representatives that heavy weapons would not be made available until the various factions agreed to form a coherent command structure. "Instead of getting operational plans and what would be required to implement them, we were getting shopping lists from individual khatibas (battalions)," said a Turkish organiser of supplies of arms and communications equipment. "If you give to one khatiba, others get annoyed and ask why they are being left out."

The Qataris are said to have maintained that one reason for the request to form military councils was to ensure a more equitable distribution of weapons. They also stressed that heavier-calibre weapons needed to be returned when hostilities ended.
"They were very clear that we needed to get organised and present a proper plan," said one opposition leader present at the talks, who gave the nom-de-guerre, Abu Mohsin.
"The Qataris were concerned because they had not been able to get back a lot they gave to the Libyan [rebels] and they did not want the same situation to happen in Syria.
"The Qataris said that the Americans were very worried about this happening again."

The rebels have not, as yet, put in place the organisation demanded by the Qataris and Turks. "We have tried to form the military councils as they wanted, but there are some difficulties. There are too many people who have made themselves commanders and they don't want to give up power" said Abu Mohsin.


Al-Moallem: Key to Make Brahimi's Mission a Success
is in the Hands of Countries which Fund and Arm Terrorists in Syria
Syrian Arab News Agency 1-10-2012

Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem pointed out that the positions of countries that Syria considers sides in the conspiracy against it haven't changed based on what he witnessed during the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, noting that there were other grey positions that have now shifted to supporting Syria, demanding ending violence and finding a political, peaceful solution...

Responding to a question on "loss of legitimacy," al-Moallem said that those who talk about this are either ignorant and need to cement their own legitimacy, or members of the conspiracy against Syria.., adding that even Security Council resolutions affirmed that the people alone have the right to decide their own future.

Al-Moallem said that one of the keys to the success of Brahimi's mission a success is in Damascus while another is abroad; specifically in the hands of Syria's neighboring countries which are harboring, arming and supporting the armed terrorist groups in Syria with funds and media, adding "if Brahimi don't get real commitments from neighboring countries, and before that from the USA which is running the entire game, then he will face the same problems that faced Kofi Annan…
I am confident that Ibrahimi has good intentions and determination to succeed in his mission, and we in Syria will provide all that could lead to its success."

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem
speech before the United Nations General Assembly.
ChamPress 1-10-2012

Mr. President, For more than one year now, my country has been facing organized terrorism, that affected our citizens, our human and scientific resources, national establishments, and also much of Syria's historic and archeological landmarks through terrorist bombings, assassinations and massacres, looting and sabotage activities that horrified citizens in many parts of Syria.
The latest example of this terrorist bombing took place recently in Damascus on 26 september 2012. A terrorist group with the name of "Jabhat al-Nosrah" took the responsibility of this attack. It is no surprise that the Security Council failed to condemn this and other terrorist bombings, because some of its members are supporting such acts.
This terrorism which is externally supported is accompanied by unprecedented media provocation based on igniting religious extremism sponsored by well-known states in the region to facilitate the flow of arms, money and fighters through the borders of some neighboring countries. Those states either turn a blind eye to the activities of terrorist groups crossing their borders, or provide active material and logistical support from their territory for armed terrorist groups.

Until today, and as a result of this terrorism, Syria has lost thousands of martyrs from the military and civilians as a price of its quest to defend the integrity of the Syrian state and its citizens in the face of this global terrorist campaign. ...

Mr. President, Syria cooperated with the Arab Observers Mission, and the subsequent international initiatives linked to the work of the UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan. Syria, out of principle, received the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), and provided it with all the facilities that enabled it to deploy in an unprecedented record time. The Syrian leadership, also, announced its full commitment to the implementation of the Six Point Plan presented by Mr. Annan, and started the practical implementation of its provisions. It, also, welcomed the Geneva Communiqué that stressed the need for the implementation of these provisions, but the behavior of the armed groups that sought to exploit the Syrian government's commitment to the plan and the Geneva Communiqué to achieve gains on the ground and expand the area of their presence, in addition to the statements issued by some Western and Arab countries, all this clarified who are the actors and states working to thwart all these Initiatives...

Ridiculing the Ridiculous: Netanyahu at the UN
By Roger Sheety, Palestine Chronicle 1-10-2012

Satire, parody and humour in general have always been potent weapons in exposing and discrediting hegemonic powers, racist ideologues and their professional apologists. ...
Benjamin Netanyahu’s September 2012 address at the U.N. General Assembly has now provided satirists with a rich source of humour for many years to come. It was a typical Netanyahu performance full of the usual historical fabrications, racism, lies and bellicose rhetoric..

As awful as he was, the comic highlight (or lowlight if you like) was when Netanyahu pulled out a cartoon drawing of a bomb; a cartoon drawing right out of the world of Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. ...
One wonders what kept the world’s diplomatic elite from bursting into laughter at this point.
Here was the warmongering leader of the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, holding a silly cartoon picture of a bomb and yet completely unaware of how comical he appeared. As Lebanese-American professor and political commentator As’ad AbuKhalil noted on his blog for example, “Even the pro-Israeli Daily Show mocked it last night. I mean, with all the advisers and American consultants, there was no one to tell him how foolish he looks with his cheap prop and stupid illustration.” ...
If the U.N. General Assembly members were too inhibited from laughing, however, the world’s ordinary citizens were not. For within hours, dozens of photoshopped cartoon parodies of Netanyahu began appearing on Twitter, Facebook and various other online social media.

Laughter and ridicule in the face of oppression or any supremacist ideology can signal the coming end of the oppressor; it is at minimum a breaking of the fear barrier or psychological discomfort which keeps many from speaking out against obvious injustice.


United States increase financial support for mercenaries
By Jerry Dandridge, Syria News 2-10-2012

The anti-Syrian war alliance [...] still tries to undertake all possible efforts to thwart an internal Syrian peaceful settlement. ...
At a meeting of the alleged so-called “Friends of the Syrian people”, the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has again announced to an increase in financial assistance to the armed opposition to an additional 45 million dollars, which will be recorded as “humanitarian aid”, although that is truly a wrong name for this blood money, and above all, a mockery...
The U.S. AIPAC Supporter of State, Hillary Clinton, is shedding crocodile tears in the same speech and said that more and more victims are brought into hospitals and morgues in Syria, but for this bad situation Hillary Clinton is also responsible. ...

Hillary Clinton uses the same pathetic slogans over and over again. Something like “The regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end, so that the suffering of the Syrian people will be ended” are already known, not only about Syria and its leadership. The U.S. regime is using these pathetic slogans and the willfully inversion of truth for propaganda purposes since decades...
In the opinion of the [Western leaders], states like Russia and China block a “humanitarian intervention” to “stop the violence” on Syrian soil.
Of course, that is a pathetic accusation but by using mass media and other methods, the people in West have almost no other chance than to buy these lies; also they are raised with the believe that their states would have something like a “free press” and that their journalism in their country is just telling them the truth.

But the truth is different to the horrible phrases of war by these Western leaders. At least, slowly but continuously, more people in the West raise questions about the coverage of the events in Syria by their media...


Orwell 1984: bookreviews

* 1984 is possibly the definitive dystopian novel, set in a world beyond our imagining. A world where totalitarianism really is total.. 1984 is set in Oceania, which includes the United Kingdom, where the story is set...
Winston Smith is an underling of the ruling oligarchy, The Party.

1984 joins Winston as he sets about another day, where his job is to change history by changing old newspaper records to match with the new truth as decided by the Party.
"He who controls the past, controls the future" is a Party slogan to live by and it gives Winston his job, but Winston cannot see it like that. Barely old enough to recall a time when things were different, he sets out to expose the Party for the cynically fraudulent organisation that it is.

* The most dreadful aspect of oceania was not scores of rocket bomb falling or the continuous war or the poverty or the mutability of past... What scared me most was impossibility of calling, what Orwell called, 2 + 2 = 4.
The final surrender of Winston in believing 2 + 2 = 5 is what made me dread the Oceania & then dawned upon me the realization that in various walks of life almost all of us chose to believe in 2 + 2 = 5 rather than confronting our private "Room 101".
So for me 1984 represents the inner fears & private guilt of betraying our beloveds, our ideals, our principles & our beliefs in the face of adversity. (www.online-literature)


Syria, the Story Thus Far
by William Blum, 2-10-12

“Today, many Americans are asking — indeed I ask myself,” Hillary Clinton said, “how can this happen? How can this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated, and at times, how confounding the world can be.”
The Secretary of State was referring to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya September 11 that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans. US intelligence agencies have now stated that the attackers had ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

William Blim website Yes, the world can indeed be complicated and confounding. But we have learned a few things. The United States began blasting Libya with missiles with the full knowledge that they were fighting on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. Benghazi was and is the headquarters for Muslim fundamentalists of various stripes in North Africa.
However, it’s incorrect to claim that the United States (aka NATO) saved the city from destruction. The story of the “imminent” invasion of Benghazi by Moammar Gaddafi’s forces last year was only propaganda to justify Western intervention.
And now the United States is intervening — at present without actual gunfire, as far as is known — against the government of Syria, with the full knowledge that they’re again on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. A rash of suicide bombings against Syrian government targets is sufficient by itself to dispel any doubts about that. And once again, the United States is participating in the overthrow of a secular Mideast government...
It’s only the barrier set up by Russia and China on the UN Security Council that keeps NATO (aka the United States) from unleashing thousands of airborne missiles to “liberate” Syria as they did Libya....

The propaganda bias in the Western media has been extreme.

Day after day, month after month, we’ve been told of Syrian government attacks, using horrible means, almost invariably with the victims described as unarmed civilians; without any proof, often without any logic, that it was actually the government behind a particular attack, with the story’s source turning out to be an anti-government organization; rarely informing us of similar behavior on the part of the rebel forces. ...
Democracy Now — long a standard of progressive radio-TV news — has been almost as bad as CNN and al Jazeera (the latter owned by Qatar, an active military participant in both Libya and Syria)...
RT (Russia Today) has stood almost alone amongst English-language television news sources in offering an alternative to the official Western line.

William Blum (born 1933) is an American author, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy. He studied accounting in college. Later he had a low-level computer-related position at the United States Department of State in the mid-1960s. Initially an anti-communist with dreams of becoming a foreign service officer, he said he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War. He left the State Department in 1967. He then became one of the founders and editors of the Washington Free Press, the first "alternative" newspaper in the capital.
In his writing, Blum devotes substantial attention to CIA interventions and assassination plots. He currently circulates a monthly newsletter by email called "The Anti-Empire Report".
Blum has described his life's mission as: "If not ending, at least slowing down the American Empire. At least injuring the beast. It's causing so much suffering around the world." (WIKIPEDIA info)

Flashback: Kucinich: NATO Not Exempt From Law
John Glaser, August 23, 2011

NATO commanders who authorized the bombing of Libya should be “held accountable” to international law and hauled before the world court for civilian deaths, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Tuesday.
“NATO’s top commanders may have acted under color of international law, but they are not exempt from international law,” Kucinich said in a statement released by his office. “If members of the Qadhafi regime are to be held accountable, NATO’s top commanders must also be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from bombing. Otherwise, we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism.”

Kucinich argued that NATO’s failure to keep to the initial UN mandate of protecting civilians also warrants investigation. “The reasons for the U.S./NATO intervention in Libya keep changing,” he said. “First, it was about the potential for a massacre in Benghazi. When the massacre did not materialize and once the war against Libya was under way, the reasons for intervention changed.”
“Was the United States, through participation in the overthrow of the regime, furthering the aims of international oil corporations in pursuit of control over one of the world’s largest oil resources?” he asked. “Did the United States at the inception of the war against Libya align itself with elements of Al Qaeda, while elsewhere continuing to use the threat of Al Qaeda as a reason for U.S. military intervention, presence and occupation?” (antiwar.com 2011)


The Use of Force Against Libya
Another Illegal Use of Force 20-3-2011

JURIST Curtis Doebbler, professor of law at Webster University and Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, both in Geneva, Switzerland, says the UN Security Council and the military coalition in Libya acted in contravention of international law in its use of force against Libya….

International law does not matter to them

Perhaps the greatest harm to humanity will be the long-term effects on international affairs from the use of force in a manner that is outside of the allowed exceptions of international law. In the Pact of Paris in 1928 and again in the UN Charter in 1945, States agreed not to use force against each other to accomplish their foreign policy ends. The Western world has appeared to repeatedly challenge this agreement in the last ten years, especially by its willingness to take military action against predominately Muslim States. In doing so they have sent an undeniable signal to the international community through their actions and despite some of their words, that international law does not matter to them.
If this message is not answered by the proponents of international law then the advances we have made to ensure that the international community respects the rule of law may be undone for future generations. (normanfinkelstein.com 2011)


Putin cracks down on NATO, Gaddafi and UN
Pravda, 21-3-2011

Vladimir Putin stated on March 21 that the resolution of the UN Security Council on Libya was flawed. "The Security Council resolution is deficient and flawed; it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade," Putin told workers at a ballistic missile factory in the Urals region. "It effectively allows intervention in a sovereign state," RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Putin did not defend Gaddafi, though. The current Libyan regime can not fall under the criterion of a democratic country, Putin admitted. "It's obvious, but it doesn't mean that someone can interfere in an internal political conflict from outside, defending one of the sides," Putin added. Libya is a complex nation, which is based on the relations between the tribes, he also said.

Where is the logic and conscience?

Vladimir Putin harshly criticized the politics of the United States of America, but left Britain and France out of his attention. "This U.S. policy is becoming a stable trend," Putin said, recalling the U.S. air strikes on Belgrade under Bill Clinton and Afghanistan and Iraq under the two Bush administrations. "Now it's Libya's turn - under the pretext of protecting civilians," the premier said. "Where is the logic and conscience? There is neither."

Putin described the military operation of coalition troops in Libya as an "external aggression." "The ongoing events in Libya confirm that Russia is right to strengthen her defense capabilities," he concluded. (Pravda 2011)

Moscow warns NATO on itchy trigger finger in Syria
Robert Bridge, Russia Today 2-10-2012

The Foreign Ministry has called on NATO and Middle East countries not to devise pretexts for military intervention in Syria.
Russia has expressed concern that some provocation could occur at the Turkish-Syrian border that may give NATO the green light to intervene in Syria.
"In our contacts with our partners both in NATO and in the region, including on international forums, we have called on them not to look for pretexts in order to carry out a [military] operation," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told reporters on Tuesday in Moscow. In such a scenario, NATO would be obliged to intervene in the conflict to defend Turkey, a NATO member.
Gatilov said Russia is equally wary of establishing any sort of “humanitarian corridors or buffer zones,” which may be used to draw NATO and other regional powers into the conflict.

This is not the first time Moscow has warned its NATO partners against interfering militarily in the affairs of sovereign states. Last year, Russia, which was among five countries that abstained from a UN Security Council vote for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya. Moscow said such action would lead to large-scale military involvement in the country.
These concerns were eventually validated when it became obvious that NATO was targeting forces loyal to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was murdered at the hands of a mob immediately after being found.

Russia is concerned that by interfering in the affairs of foreign states, NATO is forced to build alliances with motley groups whose affiliation is largely unknown.


Libya’s Jihadists Decry Western Meddling
in Post-Gadhafi Governance
by John Glaser, 2-10-2012

Libya’s Islamist rebel groups have attracted attention in the aftermath of the attack on the US consulate building in Benghazi last month, reminding observers that the NATO war there last year was not fought on behalf of secular freedom fighters.
Rebel fighters that the US and NATO aided in their air war to unseat Muammar Gadhafi still dominate throughout the country and most have refused to disarm and cede power to the fledgling government. But the rebel groups in the east, in particular, are voicing deep resentment at the Western powers and the post-Gadhafi Libya they’ve been given.

“The state deliberately ignores the fact that there is an Islamic renaissance,” Salem Dirbi, a veteran Islamist fighter, told Reuters. He thinks revolution was hijacked by Western powers and former Gadhafi loyalists.
“How do you expect us to have confidence in the state?” Dirbi asked. “They are putting in the same old people and just changing their titles to fool people.”


Army and police hit by string of attacks in Benghazi
Libya Herald, 2-10-2012

Members of the army and police have come under a string of attacks in Benghazi in the past few days in the midst of ongoing efforts to establish full control over the restive eastern city.
As many as six personnel are reported to have been injured, two in an attack on Gar Younis police station today and four in two separate attacks near the children’s hospital yesterday.
Conflicting reports have emerged of the assault yesterday, which took place after assailants threw a bomb at the police station from a Hyundai-type vehicle...
The army and police have been struggling to assert their authority over Benghazi in the wake of a fatal assault on the US consulate and nearby safe house on 11 September, which left four people dead, including the US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

Terrorist bombings in Aleppo
ChamPress 3-10-2012

Armed terrorist groups carried out a series of bloody suicidal bombings as employers were heading to their work and students to their schools and universities in Aleppo city.
In a statement to SANA, the Interior ministry said that the first bombing occurred at 7:50 a.m. in Saadallah al-Jabri Square, where two suicide bombers detonated two booby-trapped cars using an estimated 1,000 kg of explosives.
The second explosion happened at 8:17 a.m. outside the Governorate Building where a suicide bomber blew up a booby-trapped car loaded with 500 kg of explosive material...
The third explosion happened at 10: 35 a.m. when the engineering units were trying to dismantle a 1,000 kg explosive device inside a car that the terrorists detonated remotely near al-Amir Hotel, Aleppo Chamber of Commerce and the Central Bank.
The ministry said that 34 people have been killed and 122 injured, including civilians and military personnel.

Russian Foreign Ministry denounces terrorist bombings in Aleppo
ChamPress 3-10-2012

MOSCOW_ The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly denounced the terrorist bombings that hit Aleppo on Wednesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said "We renew utter condemnation of all forms of terrorism and rejection of using terrorist acts under any circumstances," calling for the necessity of punishing the plotters and perpetrators of these crimes that are claiming the lives and causing the suffering of innocent people.
The Foreign Ministry said that backing those criminals is immoral and unacceptable, offering condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated call for an immediate halt of violence in Syria by all sides and for solving the Syrian crisis peacefully according to the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions No. 2042 and 2043, and the statement of Geneva meeting on Syria.


Hillary Clinton laughs about possible war with Iran


Morsi grants Sadat & El-Shazli highest medal
for October War 'victory' - Ahram Online, 4 Oct 2012

President Mohamed Morsi has granted former president Anwar Sadat and his chief of staff Saad El-Shazli the Nile Medal of Honour, Egypt's highest award, for their conduct during the 1973 War with Israel.
The medals were presented to relatives of the two men at the presidential palace in Heliopolis on Wednesday. Sadat was also granted an additional medal of honour for his role during the war.

Yom Kippur War

On 6 October 1973, Sadat launched a coordinated attack on Israel with Abu Sulayman Hafiz al-Assad of Syria.
Known to Egyptians as the October War, or Ramadan War, this conflict is more commonly referred to by its Israeli name: the Yom Kippur War. The two pronged attack (Egypt into the Sinai Peninsular, Syria into the Golan Heights) was initially a success for Sadat, but Israel rallied (with resupply from the US) and took the offensive.
The UN stepped in, calling for a ceasefire (Resolution 338, 22 October 1973). Although all parties agreed, it was quickly broken and by the 25th, Egyptian forces were encircled by Israeli troops. Peace, however troubled, was finally achieved.
On the 19th and 20th of November 1977 he visited Jerusalem and presented his peace plan to the Israeli Knesset (parliament). The culmination of his work were the Camp David Accords, mediated by US president Jimmy Carter, in 1978 and a fuller peace agreement signed on 26 March 1979, when Egypt normalized relations with Israel.

He received condemnation from other Arab League members (as well as the Soviet Union) for the peace deal. Egypt was expelled from the League, and all aid from Arab countries was cut.
At home too, Sadat was facing increased pressure. But, perhaps most seriously, Sadat and Egypt were facing an increase in Islamic extremism. Nasser had put down the Muslim Brotherhood (executing Sayyid Qutb, the Brotherhood's leading intellectual, in 1966 for treason), but many activists remained in the country. Sadat's political freedoms had allowed an underground radical Islamic movement to swell, especially on university campuses which had been traditionally left wing and liberal under Nassers rule.
On 6 October 1981, the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Sadat was overseeing a military parade in Cairo. A military vehicle stopped abruptly and five soldiers, later linked to Islamic Jihad, leapt out and began firing machine guns and throwing hand grenades. Sadat and six others were killed. (About.com)

Sayyid Qutb (October 9, 1906 – August 29, 1966) was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamist theorist, poet, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s.

In July 1952, Egypt's pro-Western government was overthrown by the nationalist Free Officers Movement headed by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Both Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood welcomed the coup against the monarchist government — which they saw as un-Islamic and subservient to British imperialism...
Many members of the Brotherhood expected Nasser to establish an Islamic government. However, the cooperation between the Brotherhood and Free Officers which marked the revolution's success soon soured as it became clear the secular nationalist ideology of Nasserism was incompatible with the Islamism of the Brotherhood.(WIKIPEDIA info)


Mahdi Al-Harithi: Back to Libya
Syria Breaking News, 4-10-2012

Mahdi Al-Harithi was the leader of then al-Omma brigade that contains lots of Libyans who came to fight in Syria.
Al-Harithi said that he returned to Libya two weeks ago, affirming the hardness of returning to the Syrian lands. The terrorist said, "What the rebels achieved in Libya is hard to do in Syria ... very hard"
Al-Harithi confessed that there are lots of unorganized Arab fighters in Syria, plus al-Qaeda fighters. About the influx of the Arab fighters to Syria, al-Harithi said, "First, we went to Syria in response for the calls of Arabs and Muslims, as we received a large acceptation from the people.
He added, "Our relationship is good with the Free Army and the military council, and we move according to their arrangements

WIKIPEDIA info:

Liwaa al-Umma (al-Ummah, meaning "Banner of the Nation") is a paramilitary group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war. The group was previously led by Mahdi Al-Harati, an Irish-Libyan who led Libyan rebel Tripoli Brigade during the Battle of Tripoli. In September 2012 it came under command of the Free Syrian Army.

Harati decided to form the group following discussions with supporters of the Syrian opposition during a fact-finding mission to Syria in early 2012. According to Harati, about 90% of its 6,000+ members are Syrians, with the remaining 10% a mixture of Libyans, Egyptians, Palestinians, Sudanese and other Arabs. He also says that most of the Libyans are former members of the Tripoli Brigade, which received training from Qatari Special Forces in the town of Nalut during the Libyan civil war.

Radwan Mortada, from Al Akhbar newspaper, described the group as "jihadist" but not as extreme as other groups like Al-Nusra Front. According to the newspaper, the group holds that every Muslim has a religious obligation to free Syrians from "the tyrant" and establish "right-guided Islamic rule" in the country.

Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra is a jihadist paramilitary group of al-Qaeda formed late in 2011 during the Syrian Uprising.
The group released their first public statement on 24 January 2012 in which they called for armed struggle against the Syrian government. The group claims responsibility for the 2012 Aleppo bombings, the January 2012 al-Midan bombing, the March 2012 Damascus bombings and the murder of journalist Mohammed al-Saeed .


UN Security Council condemns terrorist attacks in Aleppo
UN News Centre 5-10-2012

The members of the United Nations Security Council today condemned “in the strongest terms” the terrorist attacks which took place on Wednesday in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
“They [Council members] expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous acts and to the people of Syria...”
In the press statement, the Council noted that Jebhat al-Nusra – an Islamist militant group affiliated with the Al-Qaida terrorist group – had claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” Ambassador Rosenthal said in the press statement.
In addition, the Council members reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the UN Charter.
They also reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

'Like Mohamed, like Fatemah'
Egyptian women's fight for equality
Dina Ezzat, Ahram Online 5-10-2012

Inas Mekkawie is angry, apprehensive, indeed almost scared. As the founder of the nearly one-year-old women’s rights organisation Bahiya ya Masr, she feels that, in the grand scheme of Egyptian politics, women are being reduced to sex objects...
On Tuesday Mekkawie, along with other activists, went for a short sit-in outside parliament where the constitutional assembly was convened. “Like Mohamed, like Fatemah,” shouted the protesters, demanding equal rights for men and women. “Women should have 50 per cent of the committee.”
The sit-in was specifically designed to protest the proposed drafts of Articles 36 and 29. Article 36, which comes under the chapter of Rights and Liberties, stipulates that the state is responsible for making necessary deliberations to secure equality between men and womenso long as this does not contradict the rules of Islamic sharia”.

The “rules of Islamic sharia”, as Mekkawie points out, are not agreed upon and follow different interpretations; the use of this phrase in this article alone therefore does not bode well for the future of women in Egyptian society.
For Mekkawie [..] this “inexplicably exclusive reference to the rules of sharia” is uncalled for and opens the door to the endorsement of radical interpretations incompatible with the principles of tolerance and equity with which Islam has always been associated, especially in its Egyptian interpretations.

Some have suggested that the word “rules” in this article specifically refers to inheritance rights (which give men twice more than women), others that it is designed to block the eventual legalisation of gay marriage, others still that it underlines the man’s responsibility to provide for his family – which is not the case, de facto, since 35 per cent of Egyptian families are supported by female members.
“In this case, these matters should be spelled out rather than alluded to in a confusing text that violates the constitutional principle of full equality among all citizens irrespective of gender, ethnic or religious affiliation...,” Mekkawie lamented.

No reference to “rules” was made in any constitution since the first in 1923; nor was there any in the 1971 constitution.
The call for equality and support for the political and developmental role of women are clearly stipulated in all these constitutions, but they were particularly stressed in the constitutions made under Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the leader of the 23 July Revolution.

The main demands of the 25 January Revolution were liberty and equity; we should not lose sight of these goals,” Mekkawie argued. She added that if society is truly dedicated to building a modern state, “then we all have to agree that the role of women as well as men is desperately needed.”


Women are oppressed in all religions

"The political system, especially under [Anwar] Sadat and [Hosni] Mubarak, encouraged religious fundamentalists." "When you have increasing power of religious groups, oppression of women increases. Women are oppressed in all religions." Nawal El Saadawi 2011


Wikipedia: Women in Egypt

click here The rule of Gamal Abdul Nasser was characterized by his policy of stridently advocating women's rights through welfare-state policies, labeled as state feminism. Women were guaranteed the right to vote and equality of opportunity was explicitly stated in the 1956 Egyptian constitution, forbidding gender-based discrimination. Labor laws were changed to ensure women's standing in the work force and maternity leave was legally protected. At the same time, the state repressed independent feminist organizations, leaving a dearth of female political representation.

The economic liberalization plan of the Sadat regime would result in the collapse of this system and the resurgence of Islamist-influenced policy. While the Nasserist years allowed a wide range of study for women, Sadat's policies would narrow the opportunities available to women.
The Mubarak years were marked by further erosion of the role of women. Preserved parliamentary seats for women and the 1979 personal status law were repealed in 1987, a new watered-down law taking its place that allowed less power for women in cases of divorce.

On 39th Anniversary of October Liberation War,
Al-Assad visits the Martyr's Shrine
Breaking News Network, 6-10-2012

President Bashar al-Assad visited on Saturday the Martyr's Monument on Qassyoun Mountain, on the 39th anniversary of October Liberation War.
Upon his arrival, President al-Assad was received by Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Armed Forces, Minister of Defense, Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij and Chief of General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces, Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub....
Later, President al-Assad laid a wreath on the Martyr's Monument and recited al-Fatiha along with a number of the senior officials for the souls of the martyrs.The 'Martyr' and 'Farewell' music was played.

ChamPress/SANA 6-10-2012: "Syrians maintain faith in the army"

The successive victories which broke the alleged legend of the Israeli army during the October War proved that liberating all the occupied Arab lands was at hands, but the western countries hastened, as usual, to start negotiations to stop the fighting on one of the fronts, and so succeeded in stopping the battle on the Egyptian front.
Syria continued its war for 100 days in a war of attrition, during which the Syrian soldiers succeeded in liberating Quneitra. Since then, the struggle began in the region between two projects; one led by Syria and supports the resistance movements and the other carried out by the majority of the Arab leaders who were subservient to the US-Israeli scheme aiming at controlling the region, plundering its riches and enslaving its peoples.

See also: The October War and U.S. Policy, William Burr, 7-10-2003

Libya’s current political crisis could lead to disaster
By Adrian Hong, Libya Herald 6 October 2012

"We came, we saw, he died..."
Libya today is facing a crisis that is arguably greater in magnitude than any it has faced before. The nation faces, simultaneously, three potential major national crises: an armed showdown in Bani Walid, potential American drone strikes in the East and the possibility of an escalation of unrest in the South.

Amidst the major challenges on the horizon, the General National Congress is delaying the installment of the new Mustafa Abushagur-led government...
The view from abroad and among the diplomatic community in Tripoli on Libya is overwhelmingly negative. Despite a storybook victory by the former rebels against the Qaddafi regime, one diplomat in Libya yesterday even used phrases like “failed state” or “Afghanistan” to describe Libya’s potential future.

Regionalism and political nepotism have seen certain GNC members demanding that each and every major town have its own cabinet minister, or that nephews and cousins of GNC members, without qualifications, be given ministerial portfolios. GNC members have publicly torn-up documents submitted to them by the prime minister-elect or cursed him with profanity on the floor of what ought to be a sacred temple of democracy, upset at their own individual candidates not being candidates.
After protesters from Zawiya (demanding a minister from their own town) stormed the GNC, Congress members last night called for immediate security and a state of emergency for the GNC grounds, forgetting perhaps that their priorities ought to be rather the immediate security of Libya’s cities and streets.

American drones and troops may soon be ordered to act unilaterally, in the absence of a strong executive in Libya and pressed by domestic US pressures to respond to the Benghazi attacks, challenging Libya’s sovereignty and putting the East in the same category as Pakistan’s ungovernable north-west – Wazirstan – where a host nation is seen to be unable to guarantee security, and thus foreign nations must secure it themselves. Needless to say, this would be a disaster.

The actions of the GNC bring to mind a quote from Boston loyalist Byles Mather in the era of the American Revolution hundreds of years ago: “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”
Libya’s revolution is not over. It is not enough to remove a dictator. For the sake of future generations, a new, accountable authority must take its place. At present course, the future does not look bright.


The Philosophy of War
Film Depicts Bernard-Henri Lévy's Role in Libya
By Mathieu von Rohr, Spiegel 4-4-2012

What does this man in a suit and open-collared shirt want from me? That seems to be the question that Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, leader of the Libyan rebels, was asking himself the first time he sat across from the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy.
The surreal scene took place on March 5, 2011 in Benghazi, only hours before the Libyan National Transitional Council was officially constituted, and two weeks before French fighter jets began bombing Libyan tanks....

Next to Abdul-Jalil, the Frenchman looks as out of place as a well-dressed philosopher with long, wavy hair can look in a war zone. The Libyan looks skeptical. He has no idea who this man is. "Mr. Abdul-Jalil," Lévy says solemnly, speaking French. "I am no politician. I am no man of action. I am merely a writer. But like you, I believe that it is better to act than to speak." A man off-screen translates, while another man asks impatiently: "Do you have a letter from the international community?"
"Give me five minutes!" Lévy replies. Then he continues in English: "Since my arrival, I have recognized that we can provide you with three things," which he then proceeds to list: First, a no-fly zone, and second, the bombardment of the airports in Sabha and Sirt, and of then Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's bunker in Tripoli. Third, Lévy says, Gadhafi can no longer be accepted as Libya's representative internationally, which Abdul-Jalil and his Transitional Council will do in the future.
Abdul-Jalil listens motionlessly. Lévy is improvising the speech of his life. "Now, I have a friend -- in France," he says. "Who is Mr. Sarkozy. I'm not a partisan of Sarkozy, but we are friends. Personal friends. We will take the plane tomorrow, we are in Paris Monday morning and President Sarkozy will receive you and with all the others -- or your representatives -- at Palais de l'Élysée. This is the first step toward recognition. France will be the first country to officially receive the head of your council."

Roussel, the photographer who filmed the scene, still finds it spellbinding today. "That was the decisive moment when I realized that something unbelievable was happening in front of me. So I started filming." He laughs. "What a monumental bluff," he says. "He had to have a lot of guts to make such an offer without having spoken with Sarkozy first. I still remember what I said to Bernard afterwards: And what do we do now? He replied: That's easy. Now we call Sarkozy."

The president asked for some time to think about it. After two hours, he called back to announce that he would receive Abdul-Jalil in Paris. Things went very quickly after that. The Libyans came to the Elysée Palace, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé was furious because he was only told about the meeting afterwards. France recognized the Transitional Council as Libya's government and convinced the Americans and the British to follow suit.
On March 19, hardly 48 hours after the United Nations Security Council had adopted its resolution on Libya, French jets attacked Gadhafi's tanks. A philosopher in a white Dior shirt had led the West into war. ....

More than a year after Lévy's first visit to Benghazi, Libya still isn't a proper country. Levy refuses to allow pessimists to diminish his campaign. A year ago, when he was sitting with Abdul-Jalil, he didn't know how his bet would turn out, he says. "Today I am happy and worried, but mostly happy. I believe deeply that I was right. In fact, I don't have a shadow of a doubt that I was."

Bernard-Henri Levy would not have gone to Libya
had “he not been Jewish”, RTL.fr 24-11-2011

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy said that “it is as a Jew“ that he “participated in the political adventure in Libya,” in the first National Convention organized by the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations of France (CRIF).
“I would not have done if I had not been Jewish,” said the philosopher, before an audience of nearly 900 people, meeting in Paris, adding: “I wore my flag in fidelity to my name and my loyalty to Zionism and Israel.“

Invited to speak on this subject, Bernard-Henri Levy, who published a book its action in Libya, explained the reasons which led to eight months ago to engage in the fight against the regime of Colonel Gaddafi, who was killed Oct. 20 last by the rebels near the NTC.
“I find it sometimes come to be proud to be French “ ”What I did during those few months, I’ve done for many reasons. First as French...“
“I did it for reasons even more important” , he said: “the belief in the universality of human rights (…). I am among those who have always been tempted to stand in support of victims.”

"We were dealing with one of the worst enemies of Israel"

“There is another reason which little has been said, but on which I have yet many extended: that public, which has never let go is that I was Jewish..."
”I would not have done if I had not been Jewish,“ he said. “Like all Jews of the world, I was worried”
”What I have done all these months, I did as a Jew. And like all Jews of the world, I was worried . Despite the legitimate anxiety is an uprising to be welcomed with favor, we were dealing with one of the worst enemies of Israel. “ (RTL France 2012 - Translation: extremeprejudiceusa)

"I don’t like Israel very much"
PHILIP GIRALDI, CounterPunch 5-10-2012

Even those pundits who seem to want to distance U.S. foreign policy from Tel Aviv’s demands and begin treating Israel like any other country sometimes feel compelled to make excuses and apologies before getting down to the nitty-gritty. The self-lacerating prologues generally describe how much the writer really has a lot of Jewish friends and how he or she thinks Israelis are great people and that Israel is a wonderful country before launching into what is usually a fairly mild critique.
Well, I don’t feel that way. I don’t like Israel very much. Whether or not I have Jewish friends does not define how I see Israel and is irrelevant to the argument.
The Israeli government is a rogue regime by most international standards, engaging as it does in torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and continued occupation of territories seized by its military. Worse still, it has successfully manipulated my country, the United States, and has done terrible damage both to our political system and to the American people, a crime that I just cannot forgive, condone, or explain away....

I have to admit that I don’t like what my own government is doing these days, but I like Israel even less and it is past time to do something about it. No more money, no more political support, no more tolerance of spying, and no more having to listen to demands for red lines to go to war. No more favorable press when the demented Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a cartoon at the U.N.
The United States government exists to serve the American people, no more, no less, and it is time that our elected representatives begin to remember that fact.

Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer.


The cost of misguided policies
by Musa Keilani, Jordan Times 6-10-2012

Dennis John Kucinich, a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives representing Ohio since 1997, has written an opinion piece that is so pointed in content that it invites major excerpts to be reprinted in whatever form.
Kucinich notes that 4,488 Americans were killed and more than 33,000 were injured in the US operations in Iraq since 2003. He acknowledges that as many as one million Iraqis were killed. “The monetary cost of the war to Iraq is incalculable. A sectarian civil war has ravaged Iraq for nearly a decade. Iraq has become home to Al Qaeda,” he writes under the headline “Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives, and Trillions of Dollars Later”.
The war in Iraq was sold to Congress and the American people with easily disproved lies. We must learn from this dark period in American history to ensure that we do not repeat the same mistakes..."

Hillary Clinton: "I believe..."

Kucinich quotes then member of the senate Hillary Clinton as saying in October 2002: “I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people.… Intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, and his nuclear programme. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members.”...
“Thousands of Americans and perhaps a million Iraqis were sacrificed for those lies. ... This mindset puts us at the edge of war against Iran. Ten years and trillions of dollars later, the American people by and large still do not know the truth. It is time to usher in a new period of truth and reconciliation.”

Foreign policy record (Wikipedia info)

Kucinich has criticized the foreign policy of President Bush, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq and what he perceives as growing American hostility towards Iran. He has always voted against funding it. In 2005, he voted against the Iran Freedom and Support Act, calling it a "stepping stone to war". He also signed a letter of solidarity with Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 2004.
Kucinich is also in favor of increased dialog with Iran in order to avoid a militaristic confrontation at all costs.
Assad & Kucinich 2011 Kucinich and Ron Paul are the only two congressional representatives who voted against the Rothman-Kirk Resolution, which calls on the United Nations to charge Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the genocide convention of the United Nations Charter based on statements that he has made. Kucinich defended his vote by saying that Ahmadinejad's statements could be translated to mean that he wants a regime change in Israel, not death to its people and supporters, and that the resolution is an attempt to beat "the war drum to build support for a US attack on Iran."
On January 9, 2009, Kucinich was one of the dissenters in a 390-5 vote with 22 abstentions for a resolution recognizing Israel's "right to defend itself [against Hamas rocket attacks]" and reaffirming the U.S.'s support for Israel.
Kucinich was criticized for his visit to Syria and praise of the President Bashar al-Assad on Syria's national TV. He praised Syria for taking in Iraqi refugees. "What most people are not aware of is that Syria has taken in more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees," Kucinich said. "The Syrian government has actually shown a lot of compassion in keeping its doors open, and being a host for so many refugees."
In March 2011, Kucinich criticized the Obama administration's decision to participate in the UN intervention in Libya without Congressional authorization.


Hamad bin Jassim puts blame on Syrian government
Gulf Times (Qatar Newspaper) 8-10-2012

Bin Hassim & US official Daniel Poneman Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim has reiterated Qatar’s stance that rejects killing of hostages, expressing hope that the matter of the kidnapped Iranians is solved through dialogue. The Iranians were seized two months ago near Damascus.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, the Prime Minister said Qatar was concerned at the situation in Syria. “What is taking place in Syria is something that must be handled, and the ongoing bloodshed must be brought to an end,” he said while blaming it on the Syrian government.
“Iran is our neighbour and we wish them all the best. We hope that the matter is addressed wisely and through dialogue...”

Qatar: "Beware of newly invented matters in religion"
Gulf Times, Qatar's Topselling English Newspaper"

the emir and his wife Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, deserves special rights, which are due only to the final Prophet and Messenger. These rights have been enjoined upon us by Allah and are part of safeguarding the perfect religion of Islam. Unfortunately many Muslims today have become confused with regard to these rights and have innovated practices that have no basis in Islam. The Prophet himself knew that such practices would happen and warned against them, “Beware of newly invented matters (in religion that is) for every invented matter (in religion) is a cursed innovation which leads astray.”

Be pleased with his judgement

A right of the Prophet Muhammad is to judge by him and be pleased with his judgement. Allah said, “If you quarrel over anything, then refer it back to Allah and the Messenger.” (4:58) Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to look in the Qur’an and the hadith of the Messenger of Allah when we have a question about something.
We must follow the laws that the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, brought and judge by them, and rule according to them...
We cannot put our own desires above the laws of Allah and that which the Messenger brought. To do so essentially, is to believe that we know better than Allah. Allah is our Creator and He knows us better than we know our ownselves.
Ruling by other than what Allah revealed is therefore tantamount to disbelief.


Queen Elisabeth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England,
met leaders of non-Christian religions – Baha’i, Buddhism,
Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism.

‘We should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life.The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents. But also, gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely.' (mail online 16-2-2012)


Flashback: Grand Mufti of Syria Underlines
Importance of Media in Enlightening Society
SANA 14-5-2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA)_Grand Mufti of Syria, Dr. Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, underlined the important role of media in enlightening society and educating people.
During his meeting on Sunday with the Russian media delegation currently visiting Syria to make documentaries on the events, Hassoun said that Syria is being targeted by a fierce campaign intended to sow sedition and undermine national unity in Syria to serve the interests of colonial countries. ...
He called upon Arab and foreign countries to stop backing the armed terrorist groups and interferences in the Syrian internal affairs.

During a similar meeting with the Russian media delegation, Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Assistant Bishop Luca al-Khouri underlined the role of honest media in relaying the true image of what is happening in Syria, especially in light of the immoral media war which distorts facts and seeks to sow discord among countrymen. ...
He underscored the state of national unity, love, fraternity and respect among the various spectrums of the Syrian people, which has always been a role model in the region.

The Sheikh Hassoun was born in Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic, in 1949. His father, allamah Muhammad Adeeb Hassoun was also a sheikh. He has five children and ten grandchildren. Hassoun studied at the University of Islamic Studies, where he graduated as Doctor in Shafi'i fiqh.Dr. Hassoun took office as Great Mufti of Syria in July 2005 after the death of Ahmed Kuftaro.
He is a frequent speaker in interreligious and intercultural events, and his pluralistic views on interfaith dialogue (between different religions or between different Islamic denominations) has sparked criticism from stricter visions of Islam.

Gulf states funding Syrian rebels
Roi Kais, YNetNews 16-5-2012

Syrian rebels battling President Bashar Assad's government are beginning to get more and better weapons in an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated partly by the United States. (YetNews 2012)

Jordan Calls for Political Solution to Syrian Crisis
Turkish Weekly, 8 October 2012

Jordan's King Abdullah II called for a political solution to Syrian crisis, "Al Jazeera" TV channel reports. Abdullah II believes that it is necessary to immediately stop the bloodshed in Syria.
Earlier, Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani called Arab countries for a military intervention in Syria.
According to UN, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria is nearing 20,000. More than 230,000 have become refugees with around three million in need of humanitarian assistance. The Syrian authorities say they oppose the well-armed militants.


Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering
Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery
through a policy that is as morally indefensible as it is counter-productive

Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 7-10-2012

The Economist this week describes the intensifying suffering of 75 million Iranian citizens as a result of the sanctions regime being imposed on them by the US and its allies :
"Six years ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean over its nuclear ambitions, the talk was of "smart" sanctions. The West, it was stressed, had no quarrel with the Iranian people—only with a regime that seemed bent on getting a nuclear bomb, or at least the capacity for making one. Yet, as sanctions have become increasingly punitive in the face of Iran's intransigence, it is ordinary Iranians who are paying the price.

That sanctions on Muslim countries cause mass human suffering is not only inevitable but part of their design. In 2006, the senior Israeli official Dov Weisglass infamously described the purpose of his nation's blockade on Gaza with this candid admission: "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."
Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman justified the Iran sanctions regime this way: "Critics of sanctions argue that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that."

As usual, don't look for Democratic partisan to object to any of this. To the extent that they talk about the sanctions regime at all, it is typically to celebrate it: as proof of Barack Obama's "toughness" and his fealty to Israeli interests.

UPDATE: I have one other question: if "terrorism" means the use of violence aimed at civilians in order to induce political change from their government, what is it called when intense economic suffering is imposed on a civilian population in order to induce political change from their government? Can those two tactics be morally distinguished?

See also: Wikipedia: Sanctions against Iran

Another fine mess NATO has got us into
Luke Gittos, Spiked online 8-10-2012

As the mayhem in Syria shows, NATO does little but destabilise the countries that it threatens to intervene in. ...
NATO claimed to have proven the effectiveness of its interventions following the fall of Gaddafi in Libya. Writing in Foreign Affairs magazine earlier this year, the US permanent representative on the council of NATO, Ivo Daalder, wrote of how Libya had been ‘rightly described as a “model intervention”’.

Although NATO officials describe the intervention in Libya as a ‘victory’, that intervention has left Libya in a state bordering on civil war. The unresolved political tensions which permeated the rebellion in Libya, drawing in fighters from all classes, regions and religions, have manifested themselves violently since the fall of Gaddafi.
In the run-up to the first national elections earlier this year, the National Transition Council, the unelected transition government installed by the West after Gaddafi’s killing, banned political parties based on tribal or regional allegiances, many of which were calling for the nation to disband.

Indeed, Libya is still beset by regional violence from separatist movements who feel that the process of transition has left them worse off than they were under Gaddafi. The fractious and chaotic state in which Libya now finds itself is attributable to the intervention of NATO in the conflict.
NATO lent artificial cohesion to a rebellion movement which lacked any democratic mandate to lead, or any clear direction for how to lead, once the old regime had fallen. ...
While NATO was quick to claim Libya as a ‘victory’, the shadow of the ongoing sectarian violence is undoubtedly serving as a warning against intervention in the already fractious rebellion in Syria.


Forum of NPF Parties and National Powers:
National Dialogue Based on Syria Sovereignty
Syrian Arab News Agency 9-10-2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Activities of the political forum organized by the coalition parties of the National Progressive Front (NPF) and national and progressive powers under the title of "Political Dialogue and National Reconciliation: Path to Restore Stability and Security" kicked off on Monday at the Damascus-based Dama Rose Hotel.

In a speech during the opening of the Forum, Secretary General of the Arab Socialist Union Party, Safwan Qudsi, said that Syria is facing a massive conspiracy, some parts of it international, others are regional and some are Arab, all of which seeking to cancel Syria and erase it from history...
In turn, Secretary General of the Socialist Unionists Party, Fayez Ismael, voiced his party's rejection of any foreign interference in Syria...
He said that most of those who are involved in the events don't know why they're fighting, and that part of them are outsiders fighting in a strange land.
For his part, Secretary General of al-Ahed (Pledge) National Party, Ghassan Abdelaziz Othman, said that the crimes, destruction and targeting of national economy that are witnessed in Syria have nothing to do with any legitimate demands...
Secretary General of the Democratic Socialist Unionist Party, Fadlallah Nassereddin, said that what is happening in the Arab world poses a threat to pan-Arab and national security, with the Arab-Israeli conflict being the most intense crisis and the one that threatens world security and peace due to the attempts by the US-led western forces to control the region in coordination of Israel.
Similarly, Secretary General of the Arab Democratic Union Party, Ghassan Ahmad Othman, said that Syria is being targeted, as it always has been, due to its progressive pan-Arabic stances and its role in the resistance in the Arab region, stressing the need to support the Syrian people's legitimate demands by transitioning into a pluralist, civil and democratic Syria.


Should we invade Syria?
Khaled M. Batarfi, Saudi Gazette 9-10-2012

Is it safe and legitimate for neighbors to support people against their own government?
And if we accept the principle, are we obliged to wait for the authorization of the United Nations, knowing that Russia and China would block it? Do we have better or safer options?
These questions are not facing Syria’s neighbors, alone. We, in the wider Arab world, are struggling with them every day. We have tried political pressure. We have tried economic pressure. We have even tried military pressure by supporting the Free Army, but it has not changed the mind of the Syrian regime...

Turkey is the only country now which has a legitimate cause to send its army across the border. The Syrians have activated their Kurdish allies... The Syrians have shot down Turkish airplanes and fired artillery on Turkish towns and military posts. This is a call for war, and NATO is obliged to support a member under attack, if it chooses to respond and take measures in self-defense...
Unless Syrians used chemical weapons, Turkey would certainly win any face-to-face battle. If Turkish forces coordinated well with the Free Army, they might also have the upper hand in urban warfare.
What if Arab armies were to join in or take over military operations? That would be much less threatening and provocative to Syria’s allies than a NATO involvement. It would even be more legitimate and easier on Russians...

So, should we invade Syria? I would say, yes...


"Egypt is taking the driver’s seat in Arab and Muslim politics.
Together with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Muslim ship seems in good and safe hands."
Khaled Batari, 17-9-2012

Americans are mobilizing the Muslim Brotherhood
in the Arab nation,
WorldTribune, 14-9-2012

The Gulf Cooperation Council was said to have been examining the growth of Brotherhood-aligned groups in the six member states over the last year.
GCC sources said the Brotherhood’s expansion in the Gulf region appeared to reflect U.S. encouragement of the Egyptian-based movement.
“Today the Americans are mobilizing the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab nation, for the benefit of America, not the Arabs,” Brig. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan, regarded as the security chief of the United Arab Emirates, said. Khalfan stressed that he was not speaking for the UAE....
GCC sources said the UAE as well as other GCC states were dismayed by U.S. support of the new Brotherhood-led regime in Egypt....
Qatar has been the only GCC state to have embraced the Brotherhood. The sources cited significant Qatari military aid to the rebels in Libya and Syria as well as a relatively free hand granted to a top Brotherhood cleric, Sheik Yusef Al Qaradawi.
Qatar is just as concerned as the rest of the GCC of the Brotherhood,” the GCC source said. “But it is gambling that the Brotherhood could be coopted...

Pentagon Islamic Adviser Political Leader
for Syrian Muslim Brotherhood-Dominated Group
by Patrick S. Poole, 25 Jul 2012

Louay Safi, a Syrian-American Islamic leader who has been actively involved with groups close to the Obama White House appeared last August as the director of the political office of the newly-formed Syrian National Council (SNC).
Safi has been fairly influential in government circles. For several years, he was only one of two endorsing agents for the Pentagon’s Muslim military chaplain program.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies have complete control of the SNC--as testified to in multiple media reports, including the New York Times and the Washington Post.
From annihilation at home 30 years ago ... the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against Bashar Assad.

Careful not to undermine the council's disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun.
We chose this face, accepted by the West and by the inside. We don't want the regime to take advantage if an Islamist becomes the Syrian National Council's head,” former Brotherhood leader Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni told supporters in a video.
“We nominated Ghalioun as a front for national action. We are not moving now as Muslim Brotherhood but as part of a front that includes all currents,” said Bayanouni.

The SNC leadership traveled to Doha, Qatar (where Safi is now based), back in February to receive the blessing of Yusef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the international Muslim Brotherhood.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (born 9 September 1926) is a controversial Egyptian Islamic theologian. He is best known for his programme, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat ("Shariah and Life"), broadcast on Al Jazeera. Some of al-Qaradawi's views have been controversial in the West: he was refused an entry visa to the United Kingdom in 2008, and barred from entering France in 2012.
Al-Qaradawi has described Shi'ites as heretics ("mubtadi'oun"). Fellow member of International union of Muslim Scholars, Mohammad Salim Al-Awa criticized Qaradawi for promoting divisions among Muslims. In response, the Iranian Press Agency has described Qaradawi as "a spokesman for “international Freemasonry and rabbis". Qaradawi accused what he called "heretical" Shias of "invading" Sunni countries.

On 21 February 2011, he talked about the protests in Libya and issued a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi:
“...To the officers and the soldiers who are able to kill Muammar Gaddafi, to whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free the country and [God’s] servants from him, I issue this fatwa (uftî): Do it!
That man wants to exterminate the people (sha‘b). As for me, I protect the people (sha‘b) and I issue this fatwa: Whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free us from his evil, to free Libya and its great people from the evil of this man and from the danger of him, let him do so!'
He strongly criticized the way Saddam was hanged:
“A human soul must be respected. These people did not respect the human soul. The man was calm and kept his cool. He refused to be blindfolded, and insisted upon facing death with open eyes.. and said the two parts of the shahada....The man died saying: 'There is no God but Allah'....Anybody whose last words are 'There is no God but Allah' goes to Paradise...."

On 10 June 2012, a new leader for Syrian National council was elected. Swedish based Abdulbaset Sida of the Kurdish minority will take over for three months after Burhan Ghalioun was forced away.
Plagued with internal conflict, the SNC on March 13, 2012 saw three prominent members resigning... Their reasons for resigning were that the SNC is corrupt, a liberal front for the Muslim Brotherhood and had not made significant progress in arming the rebels. One secular member of the SNC claimed that more than half of the council are Islamists. (Wikipedia)


Gulf states must tackle Muslim Brotherhood threat: UAE
Reuters-ABU DHABI, 8-10-2012

Gulf Arab countries should work together to stop Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood plotting to undermine governments in the region, United Arab Emirates' foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said on Monday.
The UAE, a major oil exporter and business hub, has arrested around 60 local Islamists this year, accusing them of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood - which is banned in the country - and conspiring to overthrow the government.
"The Muslim Brotherhood does not believe in the nation state. It does not believe in the sovereignty of the state," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said at joint press conference with the Ukrainian foreign minister.

The Muslim Brotherhood organization, founded in Egypt in 1928, is seen as a mentor for Islamist groups in the region.
Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi, propelled to power by the Brotherhood, said during his election campaign and in speeches since he was elected there was no plan to "export the revolution".
Dubai's outspoken police chief Dhahi Khalfan said in March there was an "international plot" against Gulf states by the Muslim Brotherhood organization.

Can the Syrian Revolution be demilitarised?
Omayma Abdel Latif, Ahram online 9-10-2012

Syrians find themselves facing a momentous question: has their revolution lost the moral high ground as it turns away from peaceful protests to become an armed rebellion?
FSA 2012 Over a year since the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was formed to represent the military wing of the revolution, prominent Syrian opposition figures have concluded that peaceful protests were – and should remain – the core of the revolution.
Syrian writer Yassin Al-Haj Salih who, in a 3 October article posted on al-joumhouryia, a website which chronicles the Syrian Revolution, warned that "the revolution is in jeopardy." Salih acknowledged that the armed resistance against the regime was one among several options. “We have ended up relying on the armed resistance to the exclusion of all other forms of resistance including the most important: peaceful protest.”

A series of recent events have shown the extent to which militarisation of the revolution is undermining the very cause for which it erupted. Several recent reports, in Saudi-financed outlets, have spoken about popular resentment and rejection of rebels in several Syrian towns and villages.
People are fed up with the presence of armed men in our midst who sometimes use us as human shields and take over our houses and shops,” one local resident was quoted by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper. Such resentment reveals the failure of rebels to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Syrians who perceive themselves as victims both of sides in the conflict.

The formation of the FSA was a clear indication that the revolution had changed. Such a move, as will be described later, has had grave consequences on the revolution and made it lose the popular backing of large segments of Syrian society...
Militarisation has also resulted in an influx of fighters from abroad, the majority of whom view the conflict in purely sectarian lens and some of whom have committed sectarian killings...
Thanks to Saudi and Qatari funding, the stream of so-called “mujahedeen” continues to flock into Syria. It would take a regional settlement involving Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for this to come to a halt.


Makdissi: UN Secretary General's Statement
on Unilateral Ceasefire Incomplete
R. Raslan/M. Ismael, SANA 10-10-2012

Damascus, (SANA)_Foreign and Expatriates Ministry Spokesman, Jihad al-Makdissi said that the UN Secretary General's statement in Paris yesterday on the implementation of unilateral ceasefire by the Syrian side is incomplete and contained half of the truth.

The UN Secretary General proposed implementing unilateral ceasefire and, in the same session, the Syrian side informed him that the Syrian Arab Republic has already implemented this proposal twice.
The first time was during the work of the Arab Observers Mission headed by al-Dabi and the second one was on April 12th in the presence of the UN Observers Mission to Syria and in line with Mr. Kofi Annan's six-point plan.
In both times, the armed groups exploited the commitment of the Syrian government to expand their armed deployment in some areas and since then human losses among military and civilians doubled due to the terrorist operations carried out by these groups in violation of the truce...
Therefore we asked the Secretary General to send his envoys to the countries concerned, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey which fund, harbor, train and arm the armed groups to ensure these countries' commitment to refrain from such acts, since they have influence on the armed groups,

UN chief seeks unilateral ceasefire from Syria’s Assad
UN News Centre 9-10-2012

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon greeted by Laurent Fabius. UN Photo/Evan Schneider Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the Syrian Government to take the initiative in declaring an immediate unilateral ceasefire, and on the opposition to then accede to it...
“I have conveyed my strong message to the Syrian Government...,” he told a news conference in Paris, after holding talks with French President François Hollande.
I am getting very positive support from the key countries... I urge the opposition forces to agree to this unilateral ceasefire, when and if the Syrian Government declares it.” ...
“At this time, I would urge again those countries who are providing arms to both sides should stop providing military equipment...Further militarization will put the Syrian people only in a more miserable situation. This is not an option. The only option available is political resolution through political dialogue, led by the Syrian people.”

SANA INFO: President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al-Assad
Place and Date of Birth: Damascus - Sept. 11th 1965
Social Status: Married to Mrs. Asma al-Assad, with three children: Two boys and a girl.
He studied in Damascus schools and got High School Certificate in 1982. He studied Medicine at Damascus University and graduated in 1988. He specialized in Ophthalmology at Tishreen Military Hospital before pursuing his studies in London until 1994.


Flashback: "Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth" (Laurent Fabius)

Webster Griffin Tarpley (Press TV 17-8-2012): Assad was supposed to be brought down in July, I think July 18th...: terror attacks to decapitate the Syrian armed forces, the shipping in of thousands and thousands of new death squad members from many other countries, an attack on the currency, the television warfare in its entire campaign... That has now failed. The death squads are losing and the Syrian government is still there...
The US, the British, the French and indeed the Israelis are now apoplectic. That’s what you see with [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius. I would call attention to the language he decided when he says ‘the Syrian regime should be smashed fast and that Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth’. This is a language we haven’t heard in Europe since the fascist era....

Interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Consulate General of France in New York

Clinton-Fabius Bashar al-Assad is the murderer of his people. He must leave power – the sooner the better. Until now, the actions taken to that end have come up against two obstacles. The first derives from the lack of consensus at the UN Security Council, because of the Russians and Chinese. The second is military: the Syrian army is powerful. No state is ready today to contemplate a ground operation. The risks of regional contagion would be dreadful, particularly in Lebanon.
In this context, France is adopting a three-pronged approach. Firstly, toughening sanctions, if possible at Security Council level. Secondly, we must work with Russia, who plays a decisive role. .. Finally, we must encourage the Syrian opposition to come together.

PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ NOURI AL-MALIKI
Press statement following Russian-Iraqi talks
Kremlin.ru, 10-10-2012

It has already been stated here that I visited Russia in 2009 at the President’s invitation. At the time, our country was just emerging from a period of religious and civil war, and we were entering a phase of reconstructing our national economy, normalising live in Iraq. At the time, we were already seriously considering prospects for developing cooperation with your country.
Today, we are pleased to remark on the significant progress that has been made in various areas – first and foremost, in areas of great importance to both sides such as oil, gas, investment cooperation, construction, transport, political processes, and bringing Iraqi positions closer to those of other countries in the region.

We also found common ground on some very sensitive and important issues that affect the fate of the region and the entire world, and came to the conclusion that our positions truly are very similar and even concurrent when it comes to the need to ensure reliable security and stability in this region. Besides, we reached common conclusion that it is imperative to do everything possible to promote the free, democratic development of the peoples in this region, using peaceful means and doing everything in our power to not allow provocation, to avoid external meddling in the region’s affairs, and to prevent various scenarios involving military solutions.

Furthermore, we agreed to avoid these types of scenarios when it comes to settling the Syrian crisis, without any kind of foreign meddling, and to support the mission of the new UN Secretary General and League of Arab States’ special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi. We will do everything we can to ensure the success of his mission, which should result in seeking and finding a peaceful solution to the domestic Syrian crisis that will fully satisfy entire Syrian people.


West blinks at Wahhabism's dark side
By Zubair Khan, Asia Times 11-10-2012

In Saudi Arabia there is no church, synagogue, Buddhist nor Hindu temple allowed. Wahhabism (pseudo Salafism) is not a religion of tolerance. Wahhabism provides the fundamental base for jihadism which causes unending strife and misery. ...
In Iran there are still Jews living there and praying in their synagogues. Muammar al-Gaddafi respected Christian and Jewish religions and their churches, synagogues in Libya... In Syria, Christians and their churches were safe before the Westerners began sending their Wahhabi fanatics to kill innocent Syrian civilians.

The Wahhabis, and the British, supported the warlord Ibn Saud and legitimized the Saudi dynasty and its struggle against the Uthman Khillafath of Turkey. Since then the House of Saud always supports Britain and its allies, including the US and Israel. ...
The Wahhabi-backed House of Saud took full control of the Hijaz, Mecca and Medina, in 1924 and established the modern state of Saudi Arabia, with Wahhabism as its official religion. ... Today, with Wahhabi control of the Holy Places intact, virtually every aspect and corner of modern Islam has been penetrated by Wahhabi influence through the agency of the House of Saud.

Throughout South Asia, including Sri Lanka for several centuries, the spiritual tradition of Sufism has been vigorously present. Across Pakistan, the religious tenor has been correspondingly radicalized: the tolerant, Sufi-minded Barelvi form of Islam is now overtaken by the rise of the more hardline and politicized Wahhabism. ...
The CIA introduced Wahhabism in Sri Lanka through Saudi Arabia as a means of countering the growing support for Iran and Sufism among the Sri Lankan Muslims since the CIA had calculated that Wahhabism would be an effective rival theology to prevent the spread of Iranian influence in Sri Lanka. ...
Saudi agents have successfully penetrated Sri Lankan Muslims social fabric and have managed to defeat the Sufism at their own game. ...


In 2008 Syrian singer Asalah Nassri expressed her worries to the media as she showed fear and scared to stand in front of the audience during the Aden artistic festival. Preachers considered the festival activities to be against the norms, religion and the conservative Yemeni society. Al-Qaeda branch in Yemen issued a statement in which it threatened to assassinate Nassri. In Yemen neither the Constitution nor other laws protect freedom of religion. The Constitution declares that Islam is the state religion, and that Shari'a (Islamic law) is the source of all legislation.
Because the House of Saud depends on the Americans for its security it always obeys American orders. The constant demonization of Iran and now the war against Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad confirms a perception that Western Countries have joined with the Wahhabis in the Wahhabis' war on the Shia. ...

Wahhabis hated Muammar al-Gaddafi for the fact that he ruled Libya, with no quarter given to Wahhabi demands as the imposition of Sharia law or the banning of women's dress other than the abaya...
After Muammar al-Gaddafi was defeated and killed, Wahhabi Jihadists who took over Libya as a result of huge help from Nicholas Sarkozy and David Cameron have lost no time in imposing a Wahhabi version of Sharia law in Libya...

Seeing the success of such a pitch in Libya, Wahhabi jihadists against the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, have begun cultivating the Western media and public opinion, the way the Wahhabi Jihadists in Kashmir used to do in the 1990s. ...
Today in Syria, women can dress as they please. Were the Wahhabi jihadists to take control, this freedom might soon be replaced with the obligation to wear the full veil.Already in Egypt and in Tunisia, the secular ethos of the country is rapidly giving way to Wahhabism.

While Western countries are opposed to Wahhabi jihadism and Sharia law in their own countries, in the Arab countries they favor Wahhabi jihadism over those who are secular. The result is a galloping Wahhabism and its Sharia law across the Arab countries....


"A can of worms", Melkulangara K. Bhadrakumar
Voltaire network 11-10-2012

the week cartoon Turkey and Saudi Arabia are facing an acute predicament over the Syrian situation. Neither thought that the Syrian regime would have such a social base and political will to hang on; both are frustrated that any "regime change" in Syria is going to be a long haul fraught with uncertain consequences not only for the Syrian nation but also for the region as a whole and even for themselves...
A UN Security Council mandate for intervention is to be ruled out. Without a UN mandate, on the other hand, a Western intervention is unlikely, and in any case, the US remains disinterested while the European attitudes will be guided by their priorities over their economies, which, according to the latest Inernational Monetary Fund estimation, are sliding into a prolonged recession from which a near-term recovery seems highly improbable.
In short, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are holding a can of worms containing the Syrian rebel elements that are not only disparate but also could prove troublesome in future. As for Turkey, with or without a UN mandate, the popular opinion is overwhelmingly against an intervention in Syria.
The Turkish people remain far from convinced that their vital national interests are at stake in Syria. Besides, the Turkish economy is also slowing, and a deep recession in Europe can play havoc with Turkey’s economic fortunes.


"West is portraying Russia as the villain
siding with Assad, the butcher": Eric Draitser
Russia Today 11-10-2012

RT: Turkey intercepted a Syrian civilian airliner on suspicions of carrying "non-civilian" Russian cargo. What were the indications of that?

Eric Draitser: Well, we’re hearing mixed reports, but the story goes that there was some kind of a leak – some kind of information tipped off the Turkish authorities that they should be investigating this plane, this civilian plane....

RT: Why is the Western media always in a rush to accuse Russia of supplying arms to the Syrian forces?

kemo cartoon Eric Draitser: It is important to the Western narrative to portray Russia as a villain, to portray Putin as a dictator, as a tyrant, and that he is siding with the butcher, Assad.
The reality of course is far from that. Russia of course has strategic interests in Syria, but there is still a nagging question of international law and accepted norms of international relations, and I think this is precisely the point Putin and Lavrov have made repeatedly.
But here in the United States it is impossible to sell the public on a war against Syria or on a war against Iran unless you can demonize those forces, such as Russia, which stand in opposition.
The demonization of Russia in regards to the weapons sales is something that has been going on for months, going back to Secretary of State Clinton and her laughable accusations against the Russian government that they were instigating a civil war by simply delivering what has been already contracted to the Syrian government...

EU Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Ria Novosyi 12-10-2012

The European Union has been announced the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2012. Amidst Europe’s as-yet-unsolved crippling economic backdrop, a heated debate emerged over the validity of the prize. The 27-nation organization was awarded the prizing for its historic role in "uniting the continent" and its contributions "to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

Russian human rights activists expressed surprise at the decision. Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the For Human Rights initiative said "the prize should be given to people who often put their lives at risk in the actual struggle for peace, not to agencies.”

“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” (Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)

Nobel Prize: A tale of ignoble peace laureates
Russia Today, 12 October, 2012

One man introduced indefinite detention and expanded the deadly global drone war. Another was the architect of the deliberate mass killing of civilian populations in Indochina. What do they have in common? Both are Nobel Peace laureates.

Gandhi never got one. Al Gore did. In one of the stranger ironies befitting of both Kafka and Orwell, sometimes the makers of permanent war are awarded for bringing temporary peace. Sometimes they don’t even get that far.
With the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize set to be announced in Oslo, Norway on Friday, the shadow of Barack Obama still looms large. In 2009, the committee awarded the current US president "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Nominations for the award are due by February 1, meaning Obama had served as America's executive for less than two weeks when the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected him. Perhaps it was wishful thinking.

The prize’s history is replete with examples of questionable choices, to say the least. Chief among them was the 1973 prize awarded to North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger. Tho rejected the prize, telling Kissinger that peace had not been restored in South Vietnam.
Kissinger for his part accepted the prize “with humility.” Before, during and after his acceptance of the prize, Kissinger would be implicated in assassination, war crimes and the slaughter of civilians in a large swath of countries: East Timor, Pakistan, Greece, Cyprus, Chile, Argentina, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.


Albert Schweitzer: "We Are All Guilty Of Inhumanity"

"For me, the whole essence of religion is at stake...In the [African colonies I had visited years ago] things were pretty hopeless and comfortless. We--the 'Christian' nations--send out the mere dregs of our society... If this wrong is in some measure to be atoned for, we must send out there men who will do good in the name of Jesus..." Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer What really matters is that we should all of us realize that we are guilty of inhumanity. The horror of this realization should shake us out of our lethargy so that we can direct our hopes and our intentions to the coming of an era in which war will have no place.
This hope and this will can have but one aim: to attain, through a change in spirit, that superior reason which will dissuade us from misusing the power at our disposal.
The first to have the courage to advance purely ethical arguments against war and to stress the necessity for reason governed by an ethical will was the great humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam in his Querela pacis (The Complaint of Peace) which appeared in 1517. In this book he depicts Peace on stage seeking an audience.

Erasmus found few adherents to his way of thinking. To expect the affirmation of an ethical necessity to point the way to peace was considered a utopian ideal. Kant shared this opinion.
In his essay on "Perpetual Peace", which appeared in 1795, and in other publications in which he touches upon the problem of peace, he states his belief that peace will come only with the increasing authority of an international code of law, in accordance with which an international court of arbitration would settle disputes between nations.
This authority, he maintains, should be based entirely on the increasing respect which in time, and for purely practical motives, men will hold for the law as such.

Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Lecture, 4-11-1954)

Brotherhood member responds to criticism
over women rights article in Egypt constitution
By Al Arabiya, 7-10-2012

Lawyer Sobhi Saleh, Muslim Brotherhood figure and member of the Constituent Assembly in charge of drafting Egypt’s post-revolution constitution, said protests over the article of women rights were exaggerated and insisted the constitution gives women all their rights.
Several Egyptian women rights organizations have for the past few days been staging demonstrations in protest of article 36 of the constitution. According to the controversial article, “men and women are equal, so long as this equality does not violate Islamic laws.”
Women activists found the article manipulative and demanded the removal of the last bit. Adding Islamic laws, they argued, restricts women’s freedoms and is bound to jeopardize any rights they have acquired in the past.
Saleh viewed women’s fury at article 36 as unjustified and explained that the main aim of adding the second part was avoiding articles in international treaties that violate Islamic laws.
Egypt had previously signed several international treaties that contain articles against Islamic laws like equality between men and women in inheritance, homosexual marriages, and prohibition of polygamy,” he told Al Arabiya.
If the last part of the sentence is not added, Saleh added, Egypt will therefore be obliged to allow practices that are against Islam and this, he said, is not acceptable.


Sharia is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. Though interpretations of sharia vary between cultures, in its strictest definition it is considered the infallible law of God—as opposed to the human interpretation of the laws (fiqh).
Where it has official status, sharia is interpreted by Islamic judges (qadis) with varying responsibilities for the religious leaders (imams). The reintroduction of sharia is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements in Muslim countries, but attempts to impose sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare. (WIKIPEDIA info)


Law and Legalism
Bead Beaman Blog 2008

"Muslim Sharia Law is really nothing more than a variation of Old Testament Mosaic Law, suitably modified by various Pharisaical-type entities, in order to entrap, oppress, and enslave the people. St. Paul wrote very clearly about this to the Galatians … long, long ago.", from: Sharia law is a curse

In Chapter 1 of Galatians Paul expresses his astonishment that the churches in the region of Galatia have so quickly deserted the true gospel for a false Gospel. Then in the first part of Chapter 2 Paul flashes back to what is known as the Jerusalem Council..

Curse of the law Galatians 2:11-16: When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy...
When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
?We know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

At the Jerusalem council Paul won a battle for Spiritual Liberty.

Human nature is drawn to sin. It seems every one of us are prone to legalism and bondage.
The battle for liberty must be repeated. There was a first century struggle found in the New Testament for spiritual liberty. Legalism is an ongoing issue and we must be aware. It is as relevant today as at any time.

How do we detect legalism? When you see Christianity reduced to a list of do’s and don’ts. Legalists are rule orientated, inflexible and judgmental. They will focus on the insignificant. Paul described them in Galatians 2:4 “they sneak in to enslave.”
We read that Peter came to Antioch and Paul opposed him (Vs. 11)... Legalistic hypocrisy had captured him. Peter was concerned about what the legalists would think of him... Peter was now thinking of his reputation. Legalists can be very intimidating. They will talk about you if you do not conform.

In some ways I think this is Peter’s worst mistake ever. It may be even worse than when he denied Christ... People do not want to go to a church where they go and meet legalism. We don’t want legalism, we want liberty.

In his book Grace Awakening, Chuck Swindoll has a chapter called 'Squaring off Against Legalism'. He says, “One of the most serious problems facing the church is legalism. One of the most serious problems facing the church in Paul’s day was legalism. In every day it’s the same. Legalism wrenches the joy from the (Christian) believer and with his joy goes his power. Nothing is left but cramp, somber dull listless profession. The truth is betrayed and the glorious name of the Lord becomes a synonym for a glooming kill-joy. The believer under the law is a miserable parody of the real thing.” (Grace Awakening p 76)

What can we do? We must emphasize relationship over rules... Legalism asks what is the rule here? It behaves like a court of law that seeks what has been done before. The Liberator asks what is the situation here. How can we do what’s best. He takes into consideration that we are dealing with human beings.


Definitions. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition of: legalism
Strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code that restricts free choice.
Wordnet - A lexical database for the English Language
definition of legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

See also: The legalistic mind

US Blasts Russian Stance on Syria as ‘Morally Bankrupt’
Ria Novosti, 13-10-2012

The US State Department on Friday accused Russia of a “morally bankrupt” policy in Syria, two days after Turkey intercepted a Syrian passenger jet headed from Moscow to Damascus over suspicions it had military equipment on board.
"No responsible country ought to be aiding and abetting the war machine of the Assad regime and particularly those with responsibilities for global peace and security as UN Security Council members have," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
Nuland said the US had “grave concern” that Russia is continuing to supply Syrian government forces with material that could be used against rebels struggling to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime. "We have no doubt that this was serious military equipment," Nuland said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the plane was legally carrying Russian radar parts for Syria. "We have no secrets," Lavrov told journalists in Moscow. "There were, of course, no weapons on board and there could not have been." He insisted the shipment contained “electronic equipment for radars” that complied with international law, adding that it was of “dual purpose” that could have civilian and military applications.
Nuland said the shipment was “legally correct,” but she added “the policy is still morally bankrupt.”

Victoria Nuland was named Department Spokesperson in June 2011. From February 2010 – June 2011, she was Special Envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. She previously served on the faculty of the National War College (2008-2009).
Victoria Nuland was the 18th United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 2005-2008. As NATO Ambassador, she focused heavily on strengthening Allied support for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, on NATO-Russia issues, and on the Alliance’s global partnerships and continued enlargement.

A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Nuland was Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President from 2003-2005.

Interview with Vice-President Dick Cheney
NBC News MEET THE PRESS 16-3-2003

Nuland-Cheney White House Picture MR. RUSSERT: How close are we to war?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I think we are still in the final stages of diplomacy, obviously. ... We have done virtually everything we can with respect to trying to organize a second resolution in the U.N. Security Council. And, clearly, the president is going to have to make a very, very difficult and important decision here in the next few days.

MR. RUSSERT: What could Saddam Hussein do to stop war?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, the difficulty here is it’s—he’s clearly rejected, up till now, all efforts, time after time after time. And we have had 12 years and some 17 resolutions now. Each step along the way he had the opportunity to do what he was called upon to do by the U.N. Security Council. Each time he has rejected it. I’m not sure now, no matter what he said, that anyone would believe him. We have, Tim, been down this effort now for six months at the U.N. with the enactment of 1441. We asked for a declaration of all of his WMD come clean. He refused to do that...
He’s always had the option of coming clean, of complying with the resolution, of giving up all of his weapons of mass destruction, of making his scientists available without fear of retribution, turning over the anthrax, and the VX nerve agent, and the sarin, and of the other capabilities he has developed, and he has consistently refused. And if he were to sit here today and say, “OK, now I’ll do it,” I’m not sure anybody would think that had credibility.

MR. RUSSERT: If he did come forward and say, you know, “The British laid out six benchmarks. I have decided to turn a new leaf. Here’s the VX, here’s the mustard gas, here’s the anthrax, here’s all the records. I will go on television, denounce weapons of mass destruction, you can take any scientists you want out of Iraq, all I ask is that I can stay here in power.”

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I think that would be the fear here, that even if he were tomorrow to give everything up, if he stays in power, we have to assume that as soon as the world is looking the other way and preoccupied with other issues, he will be back again rebuilding his BW and CW capabilities, and once again reconstituting his nuclear program. He has pursued nuclear weapons for over 20 years. Done absolutely everything he could to try to acquire that capability and if he were to cough up whatever he has in that regard now, even if it was complete and total, we have to assume tomorrow he would be right back in business again.

MR. RUSSERT: So bottom line, he would have to disarm completely and leave the country?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I think that would be the only acceptable outcome I can think of at this point..

"Any problem is turned into a cause for jihad"
Youssef Hamza, The National Oct 14, 2012

Islamists of all shades have risen to positions of power in Egypt since the president, Hosni Mubarak, was toppled last year.
The Muslim Brotherhood provided the nation with its first freely elected president, while its political party secured more parliamentary seats than any other party. As the Brotherhood seeks to project an image of moderation and flexibility, the ultraconservative Salafis are tirelessly advocating a strict implementation of Sharia that could reduce Christians to the status of second-class citizens by barring them from certain jobs or forcing them to pay a special tax historically known as "jizyah".

"The culture has changed," said Shadi Rasmy, a Christian civil engineer who lives in Cairo. "Any problem, no matter how small, that has anything to do with Christians is quickly turned into a cause for jihad. "I don't see the future to be any better. There is nothing I see that suggests it will be."

The uproar over the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, made by a US-based Egyptian Christian, has deepened the predicament of Christians in Egypt. In Egypt, the uproar led to the revival of calls for a global law that bans insults against religion, something that the West is unlikely to consider.
The protests have also prompted Islamists to resort to legal channels against Christians, using a vaguely defined charge of "contempt for religion" to bring them before the courts. Anyone convicted of showing contempt for religion can face up to five years in jail.

Mr Morsi appears to have nothing new to offer Muslim-Christian harmony... His Cabinet includes a single Christian, a woman, and his only Christian adviser has quit the panel tasked with drafting a new constitution in protest over Islamist domination of the process.


Human Rights Watch (HRW)'s Heba Morayef
expresses concern over constitutional draft articles
Dina Ezzat, Ahram online 14 Oct 2012

Al-Azhar scholars "If Article 4 of the draft constitution gives Al-Azhar control over the interpretation of Islamic texts within the context of legislation, then that would simply mean that an elected parliament is undermined as the legislative body," said Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Morayef also expressed deep concern over the rights of women if draft Article 36 is adopted. Addressing women’s rights, Article 36 of the draft charter includes an unprecedented reference to the 'rules of Islamic Law' – unprecedented given the lack of consensus among Muslim scholars over these rules...

Throughout the entire draft there is only one reference to the 'principles of Sharia,' a more consensual body of guidelines. Article 2 of this draft adopts the same line as the previous 1971 constitution, stipulating that "Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation."
In previous constitutions, this article had made Islamic Sharia "a main" and not "the main" source of legislation, until late president Anwar Sadat decided to have it amended to bolster his image as "a Muslim president for a Muslim state."
Morayef says it may be unrealistic to have the whole article re-written. But, like other rights activists, she is hoping that the reference to "the rules of Sharia" will be replaced with "the principles of Sharia".

Morayef is also concerned over the rights of minorities due to the text of two draft articles related to the freedom of belief that would deprive the latter of their right to worship freely.
Article 9 of the draft constitution, which was referred to in HRW's letter to the drafting committee, reads in part: “The divine being is protected and any criticism thereof is prohibited, as are [criticisms of] the prophets of God and all of his messengers, the mothers of the faithful and the rightly-guided caliphs."
Morayef shares the concerns of some Coptic-Christian rights groups about the possible "abuse" of the reference to the "divine being of God," in light of notable differences regarding this qualification in the Muslim and Coptic creeds.


The Identity of Al-Azhar and Its Doctrine
by Ibrahim El-Houdaiby, 29-7-2012

The proposed amendments to Article 2 of the constitution – giving Al-Azhar the final say in defining Islamic Law (Sharia) – is of critical importance, not only because it limits Islamic knowledge to Al-Azhar, but also because it transfers the debate over the institution of Al-Azhar to the issue of identity.
Assigning an institution with the task of interpreting Sharia is unusual in Islam, where, traditionally, knowledge was not seen to be associated with any specific institution or religious hierarchy.
Amending Article 2 of the Constitution to the proposed text is a threat to Al-Azhar’s academic and cultural identity...
In order to make the doctrinal ambitions of the Islamists successful, their only option is to take control of Al-Azhar.


History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
Karl Marx


Caiaphas & Jesus 'the blasphemist'
Jack Zavada, About.com

Joseph Caiaphas, high priest of the temple in Jerusalem from 18 to 37 A.D., played a key role in the trial and execution of Jesus Christ. Caiaphas accused Jesus of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death under Jewish law.
The high priest served as the Jewish people's representative to God. Caiaphas was in charge of the temple treasury, controlled the temple police and lower ranking priests and attendants, and ruled over the Sanhedrin.
Caiaphas led the Jewish people in their worship of God. He performed his religious duties in strict obedience to Mosaic law.

John 11:49-53: Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."
Matthew 26:65-66: Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered. (NIV)


Sufi shrines targeted in Tunisia
Kuwait Times, 16-10-2012

MENZEL BOUZELFA: Houcine looks around nervously before entering the tomb in the village of Menzel Bouzelfa, one of the Sufi shrines that have become targets for Tunisia’s increasingly assertive Salafists.
On September 14, hundreds of radical Islamists angered by a US-made film mocking their religion attacked the US embassy in Tunis and a neighboring American school...
On the same day, away from the media spotlight, a smaller group of Salafists invaded the Sufi lodge in the nearby Cap Bon peninsula, shouting threats and tearing artefacts from the walls. “They removed the pictures on the walls, the verses from the Quran. I fled because they said to me, ‘That one, we will kill him,’” recalls Houcine, the guardian of the tomb of Abdelkader Jilani...

Since the early centuries of Islam, Sufi orders have always aroused suspicion among orthodox Muslims. And while ultra-orthodox Salafists strongly denied being behind the attack, they admitted to blocking access to what they call a place of “archaic” and “blasphemous” beliefs, where people bow down before a saint and not before God.
The Sufis, in their view, are completely misguided, practising magic, using holy water that is contaminated by drains and committing “lecherous” acts. “I swear to you in the name of God that I have witnessed scenes of nudity, of vice, of lechery!” insists Imed Ayari, the imam of the adjoining mosque. “If people come here… I tell them to go to the mosque,” adds Ayari, who has put up a large banner advising Muslims not to pray in the tomb.

Kudsi Erguner on Ney and Sufism
Maurice Bejart :"Rumi"- musique Kudsi Erguner

Kudsi Erguner, 30-10-2011

What are for you the basic and most important ideas of Sufism?

To educate yourself by force of the faith in Allah, and his message as well as the tradition of the prophet. To be always with the creator.

How do you see the modern world today with all the antagonisms on religious, economic and political grounds?

When I observe the history, I think that human being has always created a chaos and tried very hypocritically to justify it by religions, by justice, by civilisation values. The chaotic situation nowadays is simply the proof that human being didn’t make any evolution after all terrible experiences during the history. Today’s antagonisms, can be economic, political or exploitation of the religious feelings, however they are certainly not the realty of the religions.

Kabir Helminski

Islam makes every aspect of human life sacred. Whereas there are other kinds of religious understanding which suggest that the way to God is through the denial of our humanness and the overcoming of our humanness. The Islamic way is much more that we have an inherently good nature. We're not born with original sin. Muhammad (PBUH) showed a way to incorporate the highest spiritual attainment into a very human life. And this is frankly a pretty radical and new concept within the Euro-Christian tradition, where people have denied themselves and gone to monasteries and lived with the burden of sin.

Kabir Helminski is a sheikh of the Mevlevi order, a Sufi order founded in Konya (in present-day Turkey) by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th-century Persian, poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. They are also known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God).


Egyptian Salafists demand increased role for Sharia
in constitution - Egypt.com 16 October 2012

Essam Derbala of the Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party told Al-Ahram daily newspaper on Tuesday that his party wanted Article 2 of the draft constitution, which specifies the role of Islamic Sharia law, to be changed.
Article 2 currently states that the "principles" of Islamic Sharia law are the main source of legislation. Derbala said he wanted the wording altered so "Islamic Sharia" is the source of all legislation in the country.
Derbala added that if the term "principles" was maintained its meaning would have to be explained clearly within the charter.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Gozlan confirmed to Al-Ahram that an additional explanatory article about the term "principles" had been included in the draft.
"The additional article was approved by all political forces, including liberals, secularists and Nasserites," said Gozlan, who added that the additional article was drafted by a number of prominent scholars.

Prominent Salafist leader Yasser Borhamy has threatened to call for mass protests if Article 2 is not changed.


Gregorians & L'Ensemble Al Kindi

Borhamy: Religious freedom
could lead to devil worship
Ahram Online, 16 Oct 2012

Borhamy [..] complained that freedom of religious belief, which was left unrestricted by the new draft, might lead to "devil worship or apostasy from Islam".
Salafists have been pressing hard for 'Islamic Sharia' to be the main source of legislation in Egypt.
"Those who voted for President Morsi only chose him so he would apply Islamic Sharia," Borhamy claimed.

It’s the responsibility of the Security Council
to find a diplomatic solution - UN News 16-10-2012

Nobel Peace Prize 2009

"...We must all do our part to resolve those conflicts that have caused so much pain and hardship over so many years, and that effort must include an unwavering commitment that finally realizes that the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security in nations of their own.
We can't accept a world in which more people are denied opportunity and dignity that all people yearn for -- the ability to get an education and make a decent living; the security that you won't have to live in fear of disease or violence without hope for the future..."

In an interview with UN Radio, the chairperson of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, expressed concern that the conflict in Syria had deteriorated since his Commission presented its report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.
“The war is much more acute and much more serious than one month ago,” said Mr. Pinheiro, noting that children, women and the elderly were suffering disproportionately from the continuing violence.
“The civilian population is paying the price of this conflict because the Government regularly bombards the neighbourhoods where the rebels are and the rebels take refuge among the civilians without distinguishing themselves from the general population,” he continued.

In a recent survey of the violence, the UN World Health Organization noted that almost 67 per cent of Syria’s public hospitals have been affected as a result of the conflict, and half of the country’s ambulances have been the subject of attack, leaving many of them out of service, according to the health agency. ...
The Commission chairperson said that the additional element of radical Islamist groups to the fighting mix was proving to be “more scary and worrisome,” and that the jihadists were “taking advantage opportunistically of the conflict” to pursue their own agenda as well as commit abuses.

Turning to the efforts for the international community to agree on a unified approach to resolving the conflict, including the deadlock in the UN Security Council, Mr. Pinheiro stated that only diplomacy would suffice in bringing the violence to an end.
“It’s the responsibility of the international community. It’s the responsibility of the Security Council to find the solution,” he said. “There is no military solution for the crisis. The only solution is diplomatic and political, through a negotiation. We are repeating this as a mantra.”


"What type of Islam do they represent?"
Democratic-Syria blog, 12-10-2012

Dr. Mahmoud Tasabihji (Muslim) head of the University Hospital in Aleppo and a prominent very well known ENT specialist in Aleppo city was kidnapped 6 weeks ago from front of his house in Al Sabeel neighborhood by a group of armed FSA terrorists. Today October 12, 2012, his body was found in Castillo neighborhood in Aleppo city with a number of bullet wounds on his body and one shot was in his head.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, the FSA [..] had a list of Syrian brains to be killed, a number were killed in the quest of 'democratizing' the country like Dr. Ahlam Imad (Muslim), a professor in Petrochemical in Baath University in Homs with 5 of her family members on June 28,2011; nuclear scientist Aws Abdul Karim Khalil (Muslim) assassinated in Homs on September 28,2011; General scientist professor Nabil Zogheib (Christian) with his wife & 2 sons were killed on 21 July 2012 in Damascus, Brigadier Dr. Issa Al Khouli (Christian) head of Hamish military hospital was killed near his house in Rukn Eddin in Damascus on 11 February 2012, to name a few.

While Islam promotes learning and honors scientists these Wahhabi freaks came out in the name of Islam just to kill scientists and destroy knowledge, which makes us wonder what type of Islam do they actually represent...

Koran & The Virtue of Knowledge

Seek knowledge “even though it be in China.”
The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female.”
“The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.”
“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”
“God has revealed to me, ‘Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven.’
“The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge.”
“Scholars should endeavor to spread knowledge and provide education to people who have been deprived of it. For, where knowledge is hidden it disappears.”
Some one asked the Prophet : “Who is the biggest scholar?” He replied: “He who is constantly trying to learn from others, for a scholar is ever hungry for more knowledge.”

EU gets tough on Iranian TV
Advanced Television, 16-10-2012

Eutelsat has stopped carrying channels from Iranian state broadcaster IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting). 19 TV and radio channels are affected, mostly transmitting from Eutelsat’s popular ‘Hotbird’ satellites.
French media regulator, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) started the ball rolling and confirmed that the Iranian channels violated human rights in its transmissions. Earlier this year the EU placed the head of IRIB, Ezzatollah Zarghami, on a list of people ‘sanctioned’ again on human rights terms. Eutelsat says it is duty bound to obey the CSA. The EU, on Monday, approved new swinging sanctions on Iran covering financial transactions, trade, energy and shipping.

Press TV Ban - by Ismail Salami
chief editor of Press TV website, 16-10-2012

The recent EU move to take Press TV off the air is to be seen as part of a continued process of media violation against this alternative channel. On Monday, UK-based Eutelsat [..] stopped carrying Press TV and some 18 other channels from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)...
Press TV says, “This is not the first time that the West is trying to silence the alternative media and stop Iranian broadcasters from commenting on what is going on truly across the world. But this time what is most surprising is that the latest instance of media crackdown comes from the new Nobel Peace laureate.”

Sanctions [..] and exerting back-breaking pressures on people are per se illegal in the light of international laws. However, muzzling a media outlet and justifying this act in the name of sanctions is a source of shame for the EU. In fact, the EU’s incoherent perception and poor handling of truth is a move enormously to be deplored.
Needless to say, this is an egregious instance of the violation of human rights which the West moralizes about so vehemently. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Message by UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon
Unesco, 3-5-2012

Freedom of expression is one of our most precious rights. It underpins every other freedom and provides a foundation for human dignity. Free, pluralistic and independent media is essential for its exercise.
This is the message of World Press Freedom Day. Media freedom entails the freedom to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This freedom is essential for healthy and vibrant societies.
Change in the Arab world has shown the power of aspirations for rights when combined with new and old media...

Libya Singles Out Islamist
as a Commander in Consulate Attack
By David Kirkpatrick, NYT 17-10-2012

CAIRO — Libyan authorities have singled out Ahmed Abu Khattala, a leader of the Benghazi-based Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, as a commander in the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, last month...
Witnesses at the scene of the attack on the American Mission in Benghazi have said they saw Mr. Abu Khattala leading the assault, and his personal involvement is the latest link between the attack and his brigade, Ansar al-Sharia, a puritanical militant group that wants to advance Islamic law in Libya.

Like the other leaders of the brigade or fighters seen in the attack, Mr. Abu Khattala remains at large and has not yet been questioned. The authorities in Tripoli do not yet command an effective army or police force, and members of the recently elected Parliament have acknowledged with frustration that their government’s limited power has shackled their ability to pursue the attackers. The government typically relies on self-formed local militias to act as law enforcement, and the Benghazi area militias appear reluctant to enter a potentially bloody fight against another local group, like Ansar al-Sharia, to track down Mr. Abu Khattala...

Ansar al-Sharia now includes 100 to 200 fighters. Its name means “supporters of Islamic law,” and it opposes electoral democracy as a man-made substitute.

WIKIPEDIA info: Ansar al-Sharia was formed during the Libyan civil war and rose to prominence after the death of Muammar Gaddafi. The Salafist militia initially made their name by posting videos of themselves fighting in the Battle of Sirte.Their first major public appearance occurred on 7 June 2012, when they led a rally of armed vehicles along Benghazi’s Tahrir Square and demanded the imposition of Sharia...
Noman Benotman, a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and analyst of Libyan Islamism claims that Ansar al Sharia is less an organisation than a term applied to an amorphous coalition of Islamist and Salafist groups active in eastern Libya.
Ansar al-Sharia carried out destruction of Sufi shrines in Benghazi, which they regarded as idolatrous.


Israel seeks to contain Gaza's Salafi-jihadist threat
By Jon Donnison, BBC News, 15-10-2012

Outside of Gaza few people will have heard of Hisham al-Saedni, also known as Abu Walid al-Maqdisi. But when the Israeli military killed him on Saturday evening, it managed to eliminate arguably the most senior Salafi-jihadist militant operating in the strip. A small missile fired from an Israeli drone high above Gaza did the job.
It hit Saedni as he rode on the back of a motor bike on a busy street in the densely-populated Jabalia district of Gaza City. Another militant, also on the bike, was killed and several civilians including a young boy were injured.
In recent weeks Israel has been targeting Salafi-jihadist militants in Gaza. Saedni was the most senior.

Hamas officials estimate the number of Salafi-jihadists - or those who espouse violence - in Gaza to be in the tens rather than the hundreds...
Salafi-jihadists have often been in conflict with the Hamas government, which they regard as too moderate and too willing to compromise Islamic principles. In recent months, Salafist groups have complained about Hamas trying to restrict them from launching attacks against Israel.


As al-Qaeda falls, Ansar al-Sharia rises
Interview by Mawassi Lahcen, Sabahi 5-10-2012

In the free space created by the revolutions of the Arab Spring, radical Islamists are forming a number of new groups to push their agenda.
At the forefront of the salafist surge in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen are groups rallying under the banner of "Ansar al-Sharia". At first, many analysts believed that these groups were an attempt by the salafist current to adapt to the new conditions and that they would eventually renounce violent jihadist ideology.
However, as Moroccan researcher Abdellah Rami explains, the Ansar al-Sharia groups are now serving as "the ideological face, the human reservoir and money provider for the armed al-Qaeda".

Sabahi: Do you consider the appearance of a number of new salafist groups calling themselves Ansar al-Sharia just a coincidence or part of a larger plan?

Abdellah Rami: I do not think it is a coincidence. It is definitely the result of deliberation and planning aimed at re-acclimatising the jihadist salafist current to the new condition that was created by the Arab Spring revolutions in the region.
This is confirmed by many indicators, including the meetings that were held and the leaders who were behind these initiatives, who are mostly jihadist symbols who have a jihadist history in Afghanistan and elsewhere. As to the name, I think it responds to Osama bin Laden's will before he was killed, in which he asked his group to change the name of al-Qaeda and choose a new name that is close to the conscience of Muslims....

Sabahi: Is this just a rebranding of al-Qaeda, as bin Laden suggested, or do these new groups indicate a break between salafists and the global terrorist network?

Rami: No, there is no break. In my opinion, Ansar al-Sharia groups and al-Qaeda are two sides of the same coin. Ansar al-Sharia poses an evolving threat, given that it is a dawa [preaching] extension of al-Qaeda. I mean it can be part of what we can consider to be a re-drafting of relations between jihadist salafism and Muslim societies. Al-Qaeda's absolute tendency in totally depending on violence and armed action has led to its recession and deterioration. Ansar al-Sharia, meanwhile, came exactly to get rid of this restriction and isolation which al-Qaeda is now suffering from. This is the significance of bin Laden's will in which he called on his followers to think about a new name for the organisation that would enable it to return to society with a new face that would be popularly accepted...

Sabahi: What is the nature of ties between al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia? Are there organisational relations with central leaders?

Rami: ... In fact, they are similar and very close, but do not work within the same frame. In sum, it can be said that Ansar al-Sharia represents the structured ideological arm to the wider current of jihadist salafism, while al-Qaeda represents its armed military arm.

Sabahi: What are the political prospects for Ansar al-Sharia?

Rami: The political system which these groups promise is the establishment of a Taliban-style caliphate system through jihad. The salafist logic rejects all aspects of civil politics and civil rule. Ansar al-Sharia cannot accept democracy, because democracy can bring a woman to rule, and can also bring a liberal or a Christian; something that the salafists can never accept...
The most important thing for them is to create a moral police force for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, then set ablaze videocassette shops and liquor stores, separate men from women, interrupt education programmes, destroy religious burial sites and remove any aspect which they consider to be in contradiction with sharia.


Militant jihadists’ rise in Arab world
By Ernesto Londoño and Liz Sly, Washington Post 16-10-2012

The proliferation of militant jihadi groups across the Arab world is posing a new threat to the region’s stability, presenting fresh challenges to emerging democracies and undermining prospects for a smooth transition in Syria should the regime fall.
From Egypt’s Sinai desert to eastern Libya and the battlegrounds of Syria’s civil war, the push for greater democracy made possible by revolts in the Middle East and North Africa has also unleashed new freedoms that militants are using to preach, practice and recruit.
The rise of militant jihadists in the region is one of the reasons that Western policymakers have been reluctant to arm the opposition in Syria as the country’s 19-month-old conflict intensifies.

Among the groups causing Western officials the most concern is the increasingly active Jabhat al-Nusra, which surfaced in Syria this year to assert responsibility for a string of mysterious suicide bombings in Damascus and Aleppo and is shaping up to be an energetic participant in the battle against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Experts say there are also signs that the group is working more closely with the Free Syrian Army, the name used by rebel forces battling Assad’s regime.


"They have played on sectarian fears and hatreds"
By ROBERT F. WORTH, NYT 6-10-2012

Many Saudi and Qatari officials fear that the fighting in Syria is awakening deep sectarian animosities and, barring such intervention, could turn into an uncontrollable popular jihad with consequences far more threatening to Arab governments than the Afghan war of the 1980s.
If the killing continues, the youth will not listen to wise voices,” said Salman al-Awda, one of this country’s most prominent clerics, in an interview at his office here. “They will find someone who will encourage them, and they will go.” ....

“People want the government to do more.” The calls for greater involvement are a rare point of accord between Saudi liberals and conservatives... Regional Islamist funding networks are being built up, Abdelaziz al-Gasim, a prominent lawyer in Riyadh said. “These are private channels with people in Kuwait and Qatar, and you cannot control them — there are deep business relationships in the gulf,” he said. “And the majority of them are within the Islamic movement, because the more nationalist or secular movements in Syria have no relationship with Saudi society.”

To some extent, the Saudi and Qatari governments have themselves to blame, because the major pan-Arab satellite TV stations they control — Al Arabia and Al Jazeera, respectively — have done more than any other outlets to stoke anger against Syria’s government and urge sympathy with the rebels. Both stations have been accused of being little more than rebel mouthpieces, and they have played on sectarian fears and hatreds....

The prospect of an increasingly sectarian civil war in Syria is deeply troubling to many here, where the Afghan jihad spawned a generation of battle-tested zealots who returned home and waged a bloody insurgency that was brought under control only recently.
“The government really doesn’t want to repeat the experience we had with the guys who went to Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Mshari al-Zaydi, a Saudi columnist and an expert on jihadi movements. “The damage from Al Qaeda was worse in Saudi Arabia than it was in the U.S.A.”


U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks
By HELENE COOPER and MARK LANDLER, NYT 20-10-2012

WASHINGTON — The United States and Iran have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials...
Iranian officials have insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election, a senior administration official said, telling their American counterparts that they want to know with whom they would be negotiating. ...
The White House denied that a final agreement had been reached. “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said Saturday evening. He added, however, that the administration was open to such talks, and has “said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.”

Sufi Sites Razed By Heavily Armed Salafis, 26-8

Iran holds mystic poet Hafez commemoration ceremony
Taghrin News Agency, 21-10-2012

Iran has held the 16th commemoration ceremony for the Persian mystic poet Hafez in the southern city of Shiraz where the poet is laid to eternal rest.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the ceremony along with Germany and Tajikistan ambassadors to Iran. President Ahmadinejad delivered a speech on the 14th century poet's universal idealistic views at the ceremony.

Born in 1315, Hafez is best known for his melodious sonnets and for intertwining a taste of Persian culture into his poetry. Many western writers such as Thoreau, Goethe and Ralph Waldo Emerson have been influenced by Hafez poems.


Hafiz, a Sufi poet, expressed in poetry love for the divine, and the intoxicating oneness of union with it. Hafiz, along with many Sufi masters, uses wine as the symbol for love. The intoxication that results from both is why it is such a fitting comparison. Hafiz spoke out about the hypocrisy and deceit that exists in society, and was more outspoken in pointing this out than many poets similar to him. (Source)

I Have Learned So Much

Iran 2012

I
Have
Learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call
Myself
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me
That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure
Soul.

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Me
Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known
.

From: 'The Gift'
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky


"Speaking of Hafez is speaking about a man who reached
the utmost peaks of perfection with a burning love"
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2012

Brahimi: "Serving the Syrian people"
Syrian Arab News Agency 21-10-2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday stressed that Syria supports the efforts of the UN envoy and is open to any sincere efforts seeking to find a political solution to the crisis based on respecting Syria's sovereignty and rejecting any foreign interference.
The President's stress came during his meeting with the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, which tackled the developments in Syria and the efforts exerted by Brahimi and the outcomes of his latest tour to a number of countries in the region...
In a statement to the journalists following his meeting with President al-Assad, Brahimi described the meeting as "open and responsible as usual".
He said the meeting tackled the issues related to the Syrian situation "with us looking forward to the future which we hope will end up in solving the crisis in Syria and restoring peace and security to it." ...
He said that being in charge, he hasn't got any other agenda except that of serving the Syrian people, wishing them a blessed Eid. ...
Answering a question regarding him having a long-winded plan or a ready paper, Brahimi said "We are working on getting this paper prepared with the various internal and external parties."

The Purposes of the United Nations:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.


Bashar al-Assad 2009: "Any call for closure
is contradictory to the essence of religion"

Islam is the religion of openness and cultural interaction; and it has gained its strength and continuity from its openness to all, in every sense and implication of openness and interaction.” “Islam has always lived side by side with other religions in one geographical and human space and has been able to engage all the nations and ethnicities which assimilated it without undermining their cultures or peculiarities.”
All those who live in this area are brothers and sisters and have commitments towards each other; and unity among them is a duty within the same religion and ethnicity in as much as it is a duty among different religions and ethnicities.”
“That is why any call for closure is contradictory to the essence of religion and destructive to its noble goals, and any attempt at instigating division inside this world and among its components is a violation of the essence of its human mission...

We must understand the logic and implications of the media and cultural war, the war of terminology and concepts which are exported to us, and which are then transformed into a cultural and political reality that has nothing to do with our reality.
In this fake reality a friend is turned into an enemy and a brother into an adversary. The illusory difference, which exists neither in our culture no among our cultures, is turned into a real war, with our blood as a necessary fuel for external intervention in our affairs and for weakening our countries..."

Address to the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers Summit, May 23, 2009

U.S. Administration Claims Iran Allied With Al-Qaeda
Moon of Alabama blog 22-10-2012

Can anyone make sense of this State Department announcement of new entries in its reward for justice headhunter program?

The U.S. Department of State has authorized a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the location of Iran-based senior facilitator and financier Muhsin al-Fadhli and up to $5 million for information leading to the location of his deputy, Adel Radi Saqr al-Wahabi al-Harbi.
Al-Fadhli and al-Harbi facilitate the movement of funds and operatives through Iran on behalf of the al-Qaida terrorist network. Both men are wanted by Saudi authorities in connection with their terrorist activities, and al-Fadhli is wanted by authorities in Kuwait on terrorism-related charges.
Al-Qaida elements in Iran, led by al-Fadhli, are working to move fighters and money through Turkey to support al-Qaida-affiliated elements in Syria. Al-Fadhli also is leveraging his extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey.
US Department of State, Secretary Hillary Clinton, 18-10-2012

So these people sit in Iran and provide people and money to the fighters that try to overthrow the Iran allied Syrian government? Why would Iran allow for that?
Does anyone really believe that the Shia Iran government is supporting the activities of Wahabbi Sunni extremists against Shia governments it is allied with? That claim defies all logic. Why supposedly would Iran do that?
What we obviously have here is a false claim by the Obama administration that is similar to the false claims the Bush administrations made about Iraq. As was later admitted Saddam Hussein was never allied with Al Qaeda. He was indeed as staunch opponent of radical Sunni extremists.

Iran and Al-Qaeda

In February 2012, the Treasury Dept. designated Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for its support of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Then, in July 2012, the US State Department highlighted the relationship between Iran and al Qaeda in its annual Country Reports on Terrorism publication.
"Today's action, which builds on our action from July 2011, further exposes al Qaeda's critically important Iran-based funding and facilitation network," Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen explained in a press release.
"We will continue targeting this crucial source of al Qaeda's funding and support," Cohen added, "as well as highlight Iran's ongoing complicity in this network's operation." (Thomas JoscelynOctober 18, 2012

May 2012: Some American conservatives claimed that Iran was complicit in the September 11 attacks, and that, afterward Iran had provided a comfortable safe haven and base of operations for al Qaeda personnel fleeing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.
Iran's Shi'ite Muslim rulers deny cooperating with al Qaeda, which has its roots in the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam dominant in the Arabian Peninsula. In their public statements, Iranian officials call al Qaeda a terrorist group, and Iranian security forces periodically report the arrest of al Qaeda members. Reuters 3-5-2012

2004: Iranian Support for the 9/11 Terrorists: Iranian support for Al-Qaeda continued to increase, even as Clinton administration officials sought to extend an olive branch to the Islamic Republic. The 9-11 Commission documented at length Iran's continuing assistance to Al-Qaeda and recommended that the U.S. government further investigate Iranian links to Al-Qaeda... (Middle East Quarterly


Flashback: "Why are they establishing
Al-Qaeda on coasts near Europe?"

TEHRAN -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, says that the United States’ efforts to establish Al-Qaeda branches in Syria and Lebanon will create a greater threat for Europe than nuclear weapons. Firouzabadi warned that a great strategic threat is taking shape in the southeast Mediterranean.
“The global arrogance (forces of imperialism) which created Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and then received serious blows from them and today claims it is at war with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic country of Pakistan has closed its eyes to” its previous mistakes, “and now it is establishing Al-Qaeda in Syria and Lebanon,” he opined.

Firouzabadi, who is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Iran’s National Defense University, said U.S. strategists should explain this paradox, namely if the United States is fighting Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and occupied Afghanistan, “why are they again establishing Al-Qaeda on coasts near Europe?” ...
It is necessary that the United Nations, the Security Council, the secretary general of the United Nations, and the (UN) Human Rights Council prevent this new disaster (from occurring) in the world.” ... (Teheran Times, 12-6-2012)


Arab Awakening
By William Pfaff, 16-10-2012

Bernard-Henri Levy: What Was Done in Libya
Can Be Done in Syria - July 27, 2012

It has been a bad week for American policymakers concerned with the Middle East (as for the Middle Easterners themselves)...
From the beginning of the Arab Awakening my opinion has been to stay out of these events, as far as possible, and certainly not to attempt to control them. To do so has seemed certain to fail and leave the Western countries suffering serious collateral damage.
Then France, on the urging of a fashionable intellectual, Bernard-Henri Levy, and an impulsive President Nicolas Sarkozy, drew Britain, NATO and the U.S. into the revolt in Libya... The situation worked for a time but slipped out of anyone’s control with the attack on the American ambassador and his team in September, with President Obama naturally held responsible by the Republicans.
Now the Pentagon plans an American trained (and presumably led) commando force to control a country currently in a highly uncontrollable condition (the Army’s Africa Command has been looking for work). Once again, the U.S. steps down the road from which there are few turnings.

Syria is in a civil war, being fought in the shadows of a Shia-Sunni religious confrontation, and an Iranian-Saudi/Qatari regional struggle. The U.S. reportedly is involved in arming the Sunni rebels, among whom Islamic fundamentalists are an increasing presence (a familiar story, to those who remember the mujahedeen in Afghanistan). Israel continues its undercover war against Iran. I find it hard to believe that the United States, or almost anyone else, can benefit from all this...


“I would not have done if I had not been Jewish.”
“I wore my flag in fidelity to my name and my loyalty to Zionism and Israel.“
Bernard-Henri Levy

Syria: Sanctions Harming Children, Sick People
by Jason Ditz, antiwar.com 22-10-2012

Ramsey Clark A lesson often learned but rarely remember is that sanctions end up harming the most vulnerable civilians in a nation far more than the government. This was seen in Iraq, where international sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of children. It is being seen in Iran, where hospitals are seeing major shortages in medicine and equipment. Now it is also being seen in Syria.
That’s the report from the Syrian government today, which noted that the health care sector and child care have been the hardest hit segments of the Syrian economy as a result of US and EU sanctions imposed during the ongoing civil war.
In Syria the issue was somewhat different, as initially Syria manufactured the vast majority of their own medication. The sanctions have made raw materials harder to acquire, and Syria’s manufacturing center, Aleppo, has been virtually shut down because of the war. This has made Syria struggle to find new sources for medicine, and with the sanctions in place, many nations simply won’t deal with them.

"Sanctions are war. They are the most brutal form of war because they punish an entire population, targeting children, the future, most of all. Sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction." Sara Flounders

Libya: Families flee clashes in Bani Walid
By Sherif Dhaimish, 22-10-2012

Hundreds of families and foreign workers fled Bani Walid on Sunday escaping deadly clashes.
Bani Walid’s military commander Salem al-Waer reported “clashes on all fronts” and accused the assailants of “shelling the town with long-range weapons and even targeting the hospital.”
“They are pushing Libya towards civil war. Libya will become a second Somalia. Why are they pitting tribes against each other?” he asked.
Bani Walid is the heartland of the Warfalla tribe, a pillar in the Gaddafi regime, despite members trying to stage a coup in 1993.
“We will resist until the last drop of blood. Either we live with dignity or we die defending our land. Even women took part in yesterday’s fighting,” said the commander by telephone.

Tensions have remained high around the Gaddafi stronghold since the killing of Omar Shaaban last month, the man who captured Gaddafi one year ago.


A pillar of Kadhafi's regime
by Dominique Soguel, 21-10-2012

March in Tripoli to support Bani Walad
Bani Walid is the heartland of the powerful Warfalla tribe, a pillar of Kadhafi's regime.
"The campaign to liberate the country has not been fully completed," Mohammed Megaryef, the head of the national assembly, said in broadcast remarks...
Megaryef, president of the democratically elected General National Congress, gave a sombre assessment of the post-Kadhafi period, pointing to "negligence" in the formation of a professional army and police force. He also cited the failure to disarm and integrate former rebels.
Megaryef stressed that delays in reactivating and reforming the judiciary had hampered national reconciliation during a critical transition period for the oil-rich nation.
"This situation has created a state of discontent and tension among different segments of society and contributed to the spread of chaos, disorder, corruption and weakness in the performance of various government agencies," he said.
This benefitted "remnants of the former regime which have infiltrated the organs of the state, maybe even its leadership, and are plotting against the revolution with the help of others who are abroad."
Megaryef said the operations under way "do not target this brave city or its people, rather they target culprits, wanted people, the accused and infiltrators." "This is not a genocide or ethnic cleansing as erroneously claimed by some. It is a campaign to restore legitimacy."

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya expressed concern: "In the interests of national reconciliation and long-term stability of the country, a mediated settlement is urgently needed," said UN envoy to Libya, Tarek Mitri in a statement urging the protection of civilians.

Israel slams Qatari ruler's Gaza visit
Attila Somfalvi, Ynet News 23-10-2012

Israeli state officials accused Qatar's emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of "hurting the Palestinians and the chance of pulling Gaza out of the mud and onto the road for peace."
The Qatari ruler on Tuesday became the first head of state to visit Gaza since Hamas seized control of the strip five years ago.

"It's funny that Qatar's ruler intervenes in the internal Palestinian conflict and chooses to support Hamas," a Foreign Ministry official said. He added that Al Thani had thus placed himself in the company of "violent extremists." ...
In Egypt, official support of the visit of the Emir of Qatar was expressed. A statement issued by the presidency in Cairo wrote that the visit was part of Egypt's support of the Palestinian issue and its efforts to break the blockade on the Strip and the residents of Gaza.

The Qatari emir arrived at the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing after his plane landed in the al-Arish airport in northern Sinai.
Upon meeting Al Thani, Hamas prime minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said that the visit signifies the "breaking of the political and economic blockade on the strip."


Thank you Qatar, says Gaza
Gulf Times 23-10-2012

Click for source Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called for Palestinian unity as he made a landmark visit to the Gaza Strip yesterday.
Poems were recited and red carpets unfurled as part of the lavish ceremonies Gaza’s Palestinians put on as Hamad bin Khalifa, accompanied by Moza bint Nasser, arrived to inaugurate multimillion dollar projects to rebuild the impoverished territory. ...
Addressing a ceremony at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) (see picture) the Emir praised the Gazan people’s courage as they faced “the enemy’s aircraft and internationally-prohibited weapons”, stressing that the Palestinian cause, with its ramifications and concerns, remained a “bleeding wound in the Arab body”.
The Emir urged Palestinians to end the division between the West Bank and Gaza, calling for a “new phase” of reconciliation and agreement...
“It’s about time Palestinians turn over the page of division and open a new chapter for reconciliation and agreement.., with sincere efforts from Palestinian President brother Mahmoud Abbas and head of the Hamas political bureau Khalid Mishal,” he said.
Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya hailed the Emir’s visit as a “victory” over the political and economic siege on his government. “Today we demolish the wall of the blockade through this visit, thank you Qatar!” he said.
Thousands of Qatari and Palestinian flags fluttered as the Emir crossed into Gaza from Egypt and was warmly greeted by a large delegation of top Hamas officials led by Haniya and his cabinet. He then launched a number of Qatar-funded projects before visiting the Islamic University, where he and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser received honorary doctorates.

Veteran journalist sees ‘Islamist autumn’ after ‘peoples spring’
by Areej Abuqudairi, Jordan Times 23-10-2012

AMMAN – Islamic movements are witnessing a “decline” in popularity in the Middle East and North Africa region, a veteran journalist said on Monday.
Hani Shukrallah made his remarks in an interview with The Jordan Times following a lecture titled “Peoples Spring, Islamist Autumn” at the Columbia University Middle East Research Centre in Amman.
Drawing an example from Egypt, Shukrallah said the current Islamic government was “not going to last long”.
“There is an increasing anti-Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt nowadays, especially among ordinary people. Recently, we have seen protests with thousands of people chanting against them. I do not expect their rule to last any longer than [Egyptian President, Mohammad] Morsi’s four years of presidency,” the editor-in-chief of Egypt’s Ahram Online said
According to Shukrallah, the “non-religious” nature of the uprisings in the Arab world was an indicator of the “limited support” Islamic movements had in the region.
“We saw the environment in Tahrir Square during the revolution. It was not religious at all. People did not call for applying Sharia or for an Islamic state to replace the previous regime. People called for universal values like freedom, democracy and social justice,” he noted.

On the question of women’s rights, he noted that the proposed amendments to the Egyptian constitution were “very alarming” signs. ...
Economic policies adapted by Morsi are “just a continuation” of [former president Hosni] Mubarak’s ‘neo-liberal agenda’”, Shukrallah charged.
“It is exactly the same. They continue to support foreign investment. They have not made one single step towards a fairer economic system such as introducing a minimum wage, or progressive taxation, which were two major demands by protesters.”


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not allowed to inspect Tehran’s Evin Prison.
Tehran Times, 25 October 2012

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently wrote a letter to the Judiciary chief asking him to make the arrangements necessary for his inspection of Evin Prison.
Ali Akbar Javanfekr Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani said, “Our response was that it is not appropriate that the inspection be made now given the fact that certain ambiguities may be created in the people’s minds. And whenever the Judiciary deems it appropriate, it will make the arrangements necessary for the visit.”
On Sunday, National Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejeii stated that an inspection of Evin Prison by Ahmadinejad would not be in the interests of the country.
Mohseni-Ejeii, who is also the Judiciary spokesman, said at the time, “Given the fact that a person who is related to him has been arrested and is in the prison, this (the inspection) would cause political (misunderstandings)… The inspection is not appropriate in the current circumstances.”

He was referring to the imprisonment of Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the director of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and the president’s advisor in media affairs, who was arrested on September 26. Ahmadinejad had previously expressed regret over his imprisonment.

Wikipedia info: Ali Akbar Javanfekr (born 12 June 1959) is a senior Iranian politician and the presidential advisor for press affairs and as of 19 December 2010, He was Managing-Director of IRNA from 1 November 2010 until 20 November 2011.
As chief executive of the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Javanfekr was reportedly "one of the most powerful figures in publicizing Iran’s government policies and messages to the outside world". In December 2010 he led a delegation to Pakistan to discuss the use of media in reducing extremism.
Javanfekr is reportedly one of "dozens of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's political backers to be targeted by hard-line opponents." He has also been called "one of the few who have stood firm behind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the president's power struggle with conservatives."

On 20 November 2011 Javanfekr was sentenced to a year in jail and suspended from journalism for three years for "publishing materials contrary to Islamic norms", questioning the Islamic Republic's compulsory dress code for women.
Javanfekr had been put on trial after the publication of a series of articles about the chador, a traditional hijab garment that covers Iranian women from head to toe.
In one article, Ahmadinejad's former media adviser, Mehdi Kalhor, "criticised the black colour of Iranian chadors, saying they did not originate from the Persian culture..."

Mr Javanfekr was arrested briefly last year, but was released at Mr Ahmadinejad's insistence.

Wikipedia info: "Funerals & Mourning"

Zahra Rahnavard Before the Islamic Revolution, black chadors were reserved for funerals and periods of mourning. Light, printed fabrics were the norm for everyday wear.

Currently, the majority of women who wear the chador reserve the usage of light colored chadors for around the house or for prayers. The only women who still go outside in urban areas in a light colored chador are elderly women of rural backgrounds and women from tribal backgrounds. It is considered inapprioriate for a young or middle aged woman to go outside in a colored or printed chador.


Flashback 2003:
Free-Mindedness Is A Divine Blessing

Free-mindedness is a divine blessing, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, said yesterday.
[He] made the remark in a meeting with the members of the Pen Society of Iran.
Free-mindedness means ascending in the endless atmosphere of thought and free and conscious movement toward the unknown realms of knowledge, he said, adding free-mindedness has been subjected to injustice, for some consider it a cause of breach of fundamentals and values and this is why they reject, while some others consider it an assault on the fundamentals, principles and sacred values and this is why they welcome it. But both the approaches are wrong and it is injustice to free-mindedness.

"Wise, and fair talks based on scientific reasoning"

Ayatollah Khamenei added respectful, wise, and fair talks based on scientific reasoning is among the ways to spread and consolidate free-mindedness. The universities and seminaries shoulder a heavy responsibility in this regard.
Alluding to the matchless role of culture in the society, Ayatollah Khamenei said, the only way for the spread of culture and production of science and new ideas in the society is the creation of an atmosphere of critique in the universities and seminaries. (Teheran Times, 29-1-2003)


My writing: “For a ruthless criticism of everything existing”
Hani Shukrallah, Ahram online 24 Oct 2012

I’m bored with the Brotherhood. They persist in repeating the same mistakes, the same grabbing, grasping offensives, and the same bungling, bungled retreats, they make promises in the morning only to renege on them before the day’s end, continuously speak from both sides of their mouths, and they do so while knowing that practically everyone can see and hear what the other side of the mouth is saying... The same pedantry, the same lack of imagination and astounding dearth of vision...

Many years ago, more years than I’d care to count, I came across the phrase quoted in the title of this piece, also in the title of an article by the young Karl Marx. Marx had been collaborating in the setting up of a new newspaper, and wrote to define that newspaper’s basic mission. ...
Ruthless criticism of everything existing” was to become, consciously at times, just naturally at most, the overriding steering force of my writing, my concept of the higher purpose of journalism, and indeed, the way my mind seems to work, not willfully but on its own, with no attempt at compulsion from my conscious self.
There is nothing very exceptional in this. The human mind was designed to enquire, and there can be no enquiry without criticism, and criticism by its very nature is bound to be ruthless. Lame criticism is criticism chained – by deference to authority, public opinion or for that matter, by our own equally human need to fit in, to belong, let alone to achieve professional “success”.

Over the years, I doubt that any of the powers that be, or for that matter, those that won’t or can’t be, locally, regionally and internationally, have been immune to some sort of lashing in my writing.
Israel, which I’ve called, and continue to think of as, Disneyland with guns, has been a particular favourite – naturally perhaps. But so have the PLO and the Palestinian Authority no less than Hamas.
I’ve criticized the Oslo Accords, but was unhesitating in my criticism of the suicide operations that came to be associated with Oslo’s collapse – and this at a time when criticism of “martyrdom operations” was considered by a great many to be something in the order of national treason.
I’ve criticized Bush’s criminal “War Against Terror”, no less than Qaeda’s criminal 9/11 atrocity. I’ve criticized the two sides of the “Clash of Civilizations”, “ours” no less than “theirs”.
In Egypt, I’ve criticized the Mubarak regime, and its opposition. Again, the left no less than the right, the Islamist camp no less than the non-Islamists. ...

Since the revolution I’ve occasionally tried to offer advice on strategy and tactics – not that anyone, admittedly, has given much attention to that advice, for all it’s worth...
However, before the revolution or since, I detest preaching, do not presume to educate my readers, nor yet “convince” them of my ideas – merely and hopefully pinprick their minds so that they might look at themselves and their reality in different ways.

My writing is driven, or at least I believe so, by a deep love for humanity... I find myself wholly unable to rationalize away the poverty, hunger, degradation and suffering of so many millions in my country and across the globe...
Yet criticism, as ruthless and unwavering as I can get away with, is what I would claim my writing is about. I may love humanity, but because of this very love, I don’t particularly like the mess it has managed to make of itself and its world - hence, the need for criticism.

60,000 Electrical Detonators, Weapons Seized in Homs
Syrian Arab News Agency, Oct 25, 2012

PROVINCES, (SANA)- A unit of the Armed Forces on Thursday chased down an armed terrorist group that has been terrorizing citizens and committed acts of sabotage and blocking roads in Muhin town to the east of Homs.
A source in the province told SANA reporter that the group's members fled away leaving behind their weapons which were seized by the army unit. The source noted that the seized weapons included 2 KPV-14.5 machineguns, 300 explosive machinegun bullets and 52 automatic rifle magazines.

Authorities on Wednesday evening seized 60,000 electrical detonators hidden inside spare tires of a truck in Hassia area in Homs. An official source told SANA reporter that the truck was coming from al-Jarajir village in Damascus Countryside and heading towards Manbij city in Aleppo. The source pointed out that the detonators are used in making explosive devices.


FARS News Agency Opens Office in Damascus
Syrian Arab News Agency, Oct 24, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The Iranian FARS News Agency on Wednesday opened its office in Damascus in order to cover events in Syria and present a realistic view of them, according to FARS Director Sayyed Nizameddin Mousawi. ...
He said that the decision to block Syrian media uncovers those who claim to support freedom of democracy, saying that western countries blocked Syrian channels due to their fear of the effects of Syrian media and the truth it conveys.
Mousawi said that FARS provides a news portal for news about Syria presented in various languages to assert that the west and the US cannot obscure the facts about what is happening in Syria, affirming that media cooperation between Syria and Iran will relay the truth to the world.

FNA-About Us: Fars News Agency (FNA) is Iran's leading independent news agency, covering a wide variety of subjects in different areas with the most up-to-date, independent, unbiased and reliable news and reports in Persian and English. Ever since its establishment in early 2003, it has been making its way towards daily progress and gaining reputation as a trustworthy source of information dissemination.

Wikipedia info: While it describes itself as "Iran's leading independent news agency", news organizations such as CNN and Reuters describe it as a "semi-official" news agency with ties to the government. Its managing director Saeid Noubari is a former head of the public relations office of the Tehran Justice Department. FNA's managing editor Mehdi Fazaeli is also the spokesman of Iran's Association of Muslim Journalists.

See also: Islamic Media

16-17 years old militants assault the residents
in al-Ashrafia area of Aleppo, 25-10-2012

About 50 insurgents have infiltrated on this morning to al-Ashrafia area of Aleppo, yelling “Allah Akbar” and assaulting the residents.
Local source in the area said that the insurgents have occupied al-Kalima school, situated in al-Serian al-Jadida Street, as they ripped the flag of Syrian Arab Republic and hanged the French Mandate flag upon the school.
The source stated that the armed rebels have entered al-Kanisa “The Church” Street and yelled “Allah Akbar”.
A resident in the area said to Breaking News Network that about 15 militants have horrified and assaulted the people, then they set fire in the vegetables Souk, as the students in al-Mukhtarin school, that the insurgents entered, were safe.
Witnesses in al-Ashrafia area reported that the insurgents are about 16-17 years old and they are now heading to al-Serian al-Jadida area, as they have a Dushka machinegun in the School Street near al-Khazzan Street. (Syria Breaking News)


President al-Assad Performs Eid al-Adha Prayers
at al-Afram Mosque in Damascus, SANA 26-10-2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- President Bashar al-Assad on Friday morning performed Eid al-Adha Prayers at al-Afram Mosque in al-Muhajirin area in Damascus.
Following the Prayers, the President listened to the Eid sermon, delivered by Sheikh Walid Abdul-Haq, which underscored the great meanings of Eid al-Adha.
Sheikh Abdul-Haq referred to the words of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the farewell sermon in which he called for regarding the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust.
"It's our responsibility today to respond to the message of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)…which is to love each other," he added.
Sheikh Abdul-Haq stressed the need under the difficult circumstances to adhere to national unity... He called upon the Syrians to solve their internal problems by means of accord, reconciliation and through reform and foil the enemies' attempts of stirring sectarian sedition.

"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..." (Prophet Mohammed's Farewell sermon)

Al-Jaafari: UNSC Statement Admits Existence of Foreign Parties
Influencing the Armed Groups, SANA 26-10-2012

NEW YORK, (SANA)- The UN Security Council (UNSC) latest statement which supported the initiative of UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, to halt violence during Eid al-Adha admits the existence of foreign actors wielding influence on the armed terrorist groups in Syria, said Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari.
In a phone interview with the Syrian TV on Thursday night, al-Jaafari stressed the Security Council statement's acknowledgment of those foreign actors by addressing a call on them to practice influence on the terrorist groups.
"This part of the [Security Council] press statement, mentioned for the first time, proves Syria's view repeated since the beginning of the crisis on the existence of Arab, regional and international parties influencing the armed groups negatively or positively," said al-Jaafari. "Therefore, those parties need to be addressed," he added.

The Syrian Ambassador highlighted the French delegation's opposing to a reference to the opposition's armed groups in the draft Russian statement presented to the UNSC... The French delegation requested that the reference be dropped with keeping the phrase of the Syrian government, which was opposed by some of the UNSC members, added al-Jaafari. ...
Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN said despite the fact that the countries with hostile policies against Syria have not changed their political stances, "we have started since two months to sense an acknowledgement by them that their calculations on the situation in Syria haven been inaccurate."

M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Bashar al-Assad is the murderer of his people. He must leave power – the sooner the better. Until now, the actions taken to that end have come up against two obstacles. The first derives from the lack of consensus at the UN Security Council, because of the Russians and Chinese. The second is military: the Syrian army is powerful. "

Capture of Libyan town smacks of revenge, not reconciliation
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Hadeel Al Shalchi | Reuters 26-10-2012

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Hours after taking control of Bani Walid, a former stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan militias from the rival city of Misrata fired ferociously at its empty public buildings.
Fighters yelling "Allahu akbar (God is greatest) and "Today Bani Walid is finished" sought to make their mark with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades on a town they say still provides a refuge to many of the overthrown Libyan leader's followers.
The chaotic, vengeful scenes demonstrated the weakness of the new government's authority over former rebel militias which owe it allegiance but essentially do what they like.
A sign on a bank building that bore the Gaddafi-era name for Libya, "The Great Arab Socialist People's Republic", was scarred with bullet holes. The central streets were empty except for the fighters who filled them with their violent celebration. ...

Human rights groups have urged the authorities to make clear that looting, beatings and destruction will be prosecuted.
"The government and forces under its command should protect residents in Bani Walid and reject acts of revenge," said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch. "There is an urgent need to stop destruction of the town and begin reconstruction, as well as to prosecute those who broke the law," he said in a statement.