Saddam's Death, 183 february 2022)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 182: jan 2022 and Page 184: march 2022

Israel & The Temple Revolution & Unesco & the Temple
Regime Change in Iraq - Overview 2002/2003 - Trump & the Pisces Messiah - Kennedy Speech 1961 - Eisenhower's Social Gospel - "I Have, I Rule and I will Destroy" - Iran & the dialogue of civilizations - Netanyahu & Infantilization of Israel - Jesus & Pophet Muhammed: "Be a stranger in the world" - Ideological Warfare Center - Jewish fundamentalism in the State of Palestine - Palestinian Martyrs and Jewish Heroes - The Balfour Declaration - Trump's move on Jerusalem (2017) - Abbas & Trump's "slap of the century" - John Bolton, prominent war hawk, National Security Adviser to President Trump - Lies & Provocations: France, UK and USA show their dark face - Trump, the 'deal-breaker' - Explaining America’s economic might - Netanyahu & The Survival of the Fittest - Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ Is Now Pence’s ‘Wolf Pack of Rogue States’ - Mike Pence & antisemitism - Amnesia of the US Foreign Policy Establishment - Israeli Elections 2019 - Was Jesus a Palestinian? - Labor disappears from Knesset - Settlers from the White House - NO to International Law - Israel & The Three Central Dilemmas - Netanyahu & Neo-Zionism - Secularism & 'Jewish' identity - Pompeo & Christian leadership - Jeremy Corbyn & Jewish Witch Hunt - Trump's Deal of the Century - Netanyahu & the Moongod Abraham - Gantz' betrayal - Trump's sanctions against ICC officials - The Ceasar Act - The Turkey-Armenia conflict - Joe Biden's Running Mate - The UAE-Israel-deal - The Sudan-US-Israel-deal - Robert Fisk Articles" - Joe Biden elected president - The return of Victoria Nuland - Putin 2014: New Rules or a Game without Rules - Alexander Dugin & The Great Awakening - Bennett is an 'evil' and 'wicked' Reform Jew, say haredi MKs - The Taliban enter Kabul

Index Page

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

How the National Security State Manipulates the News Media
Ted Galen Carpenter,, March 09, 2021

An especially dangerous threat to liberty occurs when members of the press collude with government agencies instead of monitoring and exposing the abuses of those agencies. Unfortunately, collusion is an all-too-common pattern in press coverage of the national security state’s activities. The American people then receive official propaganda disguised as honest reporting and analysis.

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

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

Joe Biden & Truth - 2009

US Vice President Joe Biden said that the new administration would seek the unvarnished truth from its spies, whether or not their information supported the goals of the government.
The Vice President's address was greeted with loud cheers by the several hundred CIA employees who gathered for the swearing in ceremony in the foyer of the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Standing before the wall of 89 stars representing the CIA staff who have died in the line of duty, Mr Biden said:
"We expect you to provide independent analysis, not to engage in group think. We expect you to tell us the facts as you know them wherever they may lead, not what you think we want to hear." (Tim Shipman. 20-2-2009)

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people …
The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. …
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." John F.Kennedy

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

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

Flashback- Hanan Ashrawi 2002:
The New Age of Ideology

"The post-September 11 era in the US has heralded in a new age of ideology whose discourse and world views have served not only to accommodate such extremist views as those held by Sharon, but also to provide him with a platform and an influence that were unthinkable only a year ago.
Thus while the American President is busy devising a new Manichean universe of absolute good and absolute evil, pronouncing policy on the basis of a simplistic polarization of the world, and unilaterally defining the terms while categorizing state and non-state actors accordingly, Sharon’s Israel has maneuvered itself into a position of even greater power on the world stage provided explicitly by the US."

"The globalists wants to make the world unipolar in order to move towards a globalist non-polarity, where the elites will become fully international and their residence will be dispersed throughout the entire space of the planet.
Accordingly, for the salvation of people, peoples, and societies, the Great Awakening must begin with multipolarity.
This is not just the salvation of the West itself, and not even the salvation of everyone else from the West, but the salvation of humanity, both Western and non-Western, from the totalitarian dictatorship of the liberal capitalist elites.
And this cannot be done by the people of the West or the people of the East alone. Here it is necessary to act together. The Great Awakening necessitates an internationalization of the peoples’ struggle against the internationalization of the elites.
Multipolarity becomes the most important reference point and the key to the strategy of the Great Awakening.

Alexander Dugin & The Great Awakening

Index Page

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

About political holism

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

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

Desmond Tutu & Ubuntu

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

NATO as Religion
by Alfred de Zayas, CounterPunch, 24-1-2022

The US/NATO/Ukraine/Russia controversy is not entirely new. We already saw the potential of serious trouble in 2014 when the US and European states interfered in the internal affairs of Ukraine and covertly/overtly colluded in the coup d’état against the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, because he was not playing the game assigned to him by the West. Of course, our media hailed the putsch as a “colour revolution” with all the trappings of democracy.
The 2021/22 crisis is a logical continuation of the expansionist policies that NATO has pursued since the demise of the Soviet Union, as numerous Professors of international law and international relations have long indicated — including Richard Falk, John Mearsheimer, Stephen Kinzer and Francis Boyle. NATO’s approach implements the US claim to have a “mission” to export its socio-economic model to other countries, notwithstanding the preferences of sovereign states and the self-determination of peoples.

Although the US and NATO narratives have been proven to be inaccurate and sometimes deliberately mendacious on numerous occasions, the fact is that a majority of citizens in the Western World uncritically believe what they are told.
The “quality press” including the New York Times, Washington Post, The Times, Le Monde, El Pais, the NZZ and FAZ are all effective echo chambers of the Washington consensus and enthusiastically support the public relations and geopolitical propaganda offensive. I think that it can be said without fear of contradiction that the only war that NATO has ever won is the information war.
A compliant and complicit corporate media has been successful in persuading millions of Americans and Europeans that the toxic narratives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs are really true. We believe in the myth of the “Arab Spring” and “EuroMaidan”, but we never hear about the right of self-determination of peoples, including the Russians of Donetsk and Lugansk, and what could easily be called the “Crimean Spring”.

Often I ask myself how this is possible when we know that the US deliberately lied in earlier conflicts in order to make aggression appear as “defense”.
Why is it that masses of educated people fail to take some distance and question more? I dare postulate the hypothesis that the best way to understand the NATO phenomenon is to see it as a secular religion. Then we are allowed to believe its implausible narratives, because we can take them on faith.
Of Course – NATO is hardly a religion of Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount (Matthew V, 3-10), except for one typically Western Beatitude — Beati Possidetis – blessed are those who possess and occupy. What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable. What I occupy, I stole it fair and square. When we look at NATO as a religion, we can better understand certain political developments in Europe and the Middle East, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Iraq.
NATO’s credo is somewhat Calvinistic – a credo for and by the “elect”. And by definition, we in the West are the “elect”, which means “the good guys”. Only we shall have salvation.
This can all be taken on faith. As every religion, the NATO religion has its own dogma and lexicon. In NATO’s Lexicon a “colour revolution” is a coup d’état, democracy is co-terminous with capitalism, humanitarian intervention entails “regime change”, “rule of law” means OUR rules, “Satan Nr. 1” is Putin, and Satan Nr. 2 is Xi Jinping.

NATO has emerged as the perfect religion for bullies and war-mongers, not unlike other expansive ideologies of the past....
Personally, I view NATO in the tradition of the village bully. But most Americans cannot jump over their own shadows. Emotionally most Americans do not have the temerity to reject our leadership. Perhaps because NATO auto-proclaims itself to be a positive force for democracy and human rights....
NATO builds on the “exceptionalist” dogma practiced by the United States for more than two centuries. Pursuant to the doctrine of “exceptionalism”, the US and NATO are both above international law – even above natural law.
“Exceptionalism” is another expression for the Roman slogan “quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi” – that which Jupiter can do — is certainly not allowed for common mortals like us – We are the “Bovi”, the bovines.
Moreover, we in the West have gotten so used to our “culture of cheating” — that we react surprised when another country does not simply accept that we cheated them. This culture of cheating has become so second nature to us, that we do not even realize it when we cheat someone else. It is a form of predator behaviour that civilization has not succeeded yet in eradicating....

Who bears the responsibility for this massive betrayal of the world? The late President George H.W. Bush and the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, together with their successors and all their neo-con advisors and proponents of “exceptionalism”, together with the think tanks and pundits that cheered them on.
How was this betrayal possible? Only through dis-information and propaganda. Only with the complicity of the corporate media, which applauded Fukuyama’s idea of “the end of history” and “winner takes all”.
The corporate media dutifully played the game by declaring Russia and China to be our sworn enemies. Any reasonable discussion with the Russians and Chinese was and is decried as “appeasement”. But shouldn’t we look in the mirror and acknowledge that the only ones who should “appease” themselves is us? Indeed, we need to calm down and stop aggressing everybody else – stop both military and information offensives.
If there is a country that cares precious little for the international rule of law – otherwise known as Blinken’s “rules-based international order” – it is – alas, my country, the United States of America.

Alfred de Zayas is a professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and served as a UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order 2012-18.

Turkish ambassador’s Benghazi visit signals further
Turkish rapprochement with Hafter’s eastern Libya
Sami Zaptia, Libya Herald, Tripoli, 30 January 2022:

Turkey’s Ambassador to Libya, Kenan Yilmaz, visited the Municipality of Benghazi yesterday signalling further improved relations between Turkey and presidential candidate Khalifa Haftar’s eastern Libya. Yilmaz was met by a Libyan delegation headed by Sager Bujwari the head of Benghazi Municipality and an ally of Hafter.
The rapprochement could be very significant and blurs the old political fault lines of Turkey and Qatar supporting western Libya while Egypt and the UAE support eastern Libya.
If the rapprochement proves genuine and long lasting, it could lead to a complete change in political dynamics with foreign states with strong influence/interference in Libyan affairs.
It also questions the mantra that the old political fault lines were based on unchangeable principles such as the Islamist v liberal categorisation.
It underlines that States seek interests and are prepared to change policy for their national interests and politicians, such as Hafter, are prepared to change principles and make peace with old enemies such as Turkey – in pursuit of power.
During the visit, many topics of common interest were discussed, including the reopening of the Turkish consulate, the resumption of the direct flight between Benghazi and Istanbul, and the return of Turkish companies to work in Benghazi..
The Turkish ambassador was reported by the Municipality to have praised the good reception his delegation received, stressing the importance of joint cooperation for the benefit of all and the desire of the Turkish side to activate the joint economic and commercial movement and to do everything that would strengthen Turkish-Libyan relations by strengthening cooperation in the economic, commercial and service aspects.

Amnesty International:
Israel is imposing ‘apartheid’ on Palestinians
By Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss, February 1, 2022

Amnesty International is the latest human rights organization to declare Israel an apartheid state, calling for an end to the “system of oppression and domination” it imposes on the millions of Palestinians living under its rule.
In a landmark 280-page report on Tuesday, Amnesty international accused Israel of the crime of apartheid, saying “it is a crime against humanity, and it has to end.”
Through a number of discriminatory and harmful policies like home demolitions, family separation, restrictions on freedom of movement, imprisonment and torture, Israel has met the criteria for the crime of apartheid, as it is defined under international law, the report said.

Since 1948, Israel has established a set of laws and systems that are “designed to oppress and dominate Palestinians,” and are always carried out with the intent of privileging Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians, Amnesty said.
This intent to create and maintain Jewish domination over Palestinians can be demonstrated through laws that were instituted early after Israel’s establishment, that allowed for open Jewish immigration to Israel, and simultaneously prevented the Palestinian refugees form returning to their homes.
Those policies have been continued today through the continuation of the denial of returning Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homes, and Israel’s demographic policies in cities like Jerusalem, that aim to maintain at least a 60% Jewish majority in the city.

As the Amnesty report details, in order to achieve such demographic goals and maintain domination over Palestinians, Israel implements laws that geographically fragment Palestinians, and confines them to “separate, densely populated enclaves,” where basic human development is restricted.
“Decades of deliberately unequal treatment of Palestinians in all areas under the control of Israel has left Palestinians marginalized and subject to widespread and systematic socio-economic disadvantage as they are barred from equitable access to natural and financial resources, livelihood opportunities, healthcare and education,” the report said.
The report also placed an emphasis on Israel’s policy of dispossession and displacement, which it imposes on Palestinians through land seizures, the denial of building permits, settlement expansion, and the replacement of Palestinians with Jewish settlers in places like Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
“Our report reveals the true extent of Israel’s apartheid regime. Whether they live in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, or Israel itself, Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said in a statement....

The report notes that while Israel only considers those who were forced to leave or fled in 1948, but not their descendants, as refugees, it denies the right of return to both those groups.
It is estimated that there are 5.6 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA — around 2.2 million live in refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, while the rest live in exile, primarily in camps across the Middle East.
“In order to maintain Jewish Israeli domination in Israel and the OPT, Israel also continues to deny millions of Palestinian refugees…as well as their descendants, the right to citizenship and residence by denying them their right of return to their homes in Israel and/or the OPT,” the report says.

The Amnesty report has been largely welcomed by human rights groups in Palestine and around the world, with people hailing it as a positive step towards holding Israel accountable for its crimes against Palestinians.
Even before the report was released, however, Israeli officials and pro-Israel groups were quick to condemn it, accusing Amnesty International of antisemitism...

Amnesty's war on fundamental principle of Zionism
By Yona Schiffmiller, Israel Hayom News, 2-02-2022

(Yona Schiffmiller is Director of Research at NGO Monitor)

On Tuesday, by reporting that Israel is an 'apartheid' state within all its borders and is committing crimes against humanity, Amnesty International declared war on the fundamental principle of Zionism.
Throughout the entirety of its document Amnesty International explicitly negates Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, while employing phrases that echo antisemitic language – such as "Jewish control" and "Jewish supremacy."
The report is significant for several reasons; most importantly being the fact that it exposes and very accurately characterizes the objectives of the movement to de-legitimize Israel, spearheaded by "human rights" organizations.
The purpose of the report's publication is singular: To make plain that the establishment of the Jewish state was a crime and that only by dismantling it can justice be done. In the eyes of its authors and their allies, the Jewish people must be denied their right to self-determination in a sovereign country.
Similar to previous publications by B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch, this report outlines rules that define Israel's unique role as the national state of the Jewish people as serious crimes...
Despite hiding behind legal terms and quotes from international charters, Amnesty's campaign is motivated by hatred of the idea of a Jewish state and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
The international community must condemn this antisemitic attack in no uncertain terms and denounce those who lead and fund it.

Zionism & The (Promised) Land of Israel
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) is the traditional Jewish name for an area of indefinite geographical extension in the Southern Levant.
Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine.
The definitions of the limits of this territory vary between passages in the Hebrew Bible, with specific mentions in Genesis 15, Exodus 23, Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47. Nine times elsewhere in the Bible, the settled land is referred as "from Dan to Beersheba", and three times it is referred as "from the entrance of Hamath unto the brook of Egypt" (1 Kings 8:65, 1 Chronicles 13:5 and 2 Chronicles 7:8). These biblical limits for the land differ from the borders of established historical Israelite and later Jewish kingdoms, including the United Kingdom of Israel, the two kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah, the Hasmonean Kingdom, and the Herodian kingdom. At their heights, these realms ruled lands with similar but not identical boundaries.

Jewish religious belief defines the land as where Jewish religious law prevailed and excludes territory where it was not applied.
It holds that the area is a God-given inheritance of the Jewish people based on the Torah, particularly the books of Genesis and Exodus, as well as on the later Prophets.
According to the Book of Genesis, the land was first promised by God to Abram's descendants; the text is explicit that this is a covenant between God and Abram for his descendants.
Abram's name was later changed to Abraham, with the promise refined to pass through his son Isaac and to the Israelites, descendants of Jacob, Abraham's grandson.
This belief is not shared by most adherents of replacement theology (or supersessionism), who hold the view that the Old Testament prophecies were superseded by the coming of Jesus, a view often repudiated by Christian Zionists as a theological error.
Evangelical Zionists variously claim that Israel has title to the land by divine right, or by a theological, historical and moral grounding of attachment to the land unique to Jews (James Parkes). The idea that ancient religious texts can be warrant or divine right for a modern claim has often been challenged...

The Land of Israel concept has been evoked by the founders of the State of Israel. It often surfaces in political debates on the status of the West Bank, which is referred to in official Israeli discourse as Judea and Samaria, from the names of the two historical Israelite and Judean kingdoms. These debates frequently invoke religious principles, despite the little weight these principles typically carry in Israeli secular politics...

Tell Me What’s Untrue in Amnesty’s Report on Israel
Gideon Levy, Feb. 3, 2022

As the curses and screeches subside – Amnesty are antisemites, the report is full of lies, the methodology is absurd – one must ask: What, precisely, is incorrect in the apartheid report?
Was Israel not founded on an explicit policy of maintaining Jewish demographic hegemony, while reducing the number of Palestinians within its boundaries?
Yes or no? True or false?
Does this policy not exist to this day? Yes or no? True or false?
Does Israel not maintain a regime of oppression and control of Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories for the benefit of Israeli Jews? Yes or no? True or false?
Do the rules of engagement with Palestinians not reflect a policy of shoot to kill, or at least maim? Yes or no? True or false?
Are the evictions of Palestinians from their homes and the denial of construction permits not part of Israeli policy? Yes or no? True or false?
Is Sheikh Jarrah not apartheid? Is the nation-state law not apartheid? And the denial of family reunification? And the unrecognized villages? And the “Judaization”? Is there a single sphere, in Israel or the territories, in which there is true, absolute equality, except in name? ...
Please, prove Amnesty wrong. That there aren’t two systems of justice in the territories, two sets of rights and two formulas for the distribution of resources.
That the legitimization of Evyatar is not apartheid. That Jews being able to reclaim their pre-1948 property while Palestinians are denied the same right is not apartheid.
That a verdant settlement right next to a shepherd’s community with no power or running water is not apartheid. That Israel’s Arab citizens aren’t discriminated against systematically, institutionally. That the Green Line has not been erased.
What’s not true?

After Qurayshi's death,
who are Mideast's most wanted terrorists?
Al-Monitor Staff, February 4, 2022

US Targets IS leader. BBC 4-2-2022 The raid targeted a three-storey residential building on the outskirts of the opposition-held town of Atmeh, which is in northern Idlib province and close to the border with Turkey. The region is a stronghold of jihadist groups that are fierce rivals of IS, as well as Turkish-backed rebel factions fighting the Syrian government.
Before his death in an overnight US special forces raid, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was among one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
Al-Qurayshi took the helm of the Islamic State after Abu Bakr al-Baghadi died in a similar US operation in 2019.
In remarks on Thursday, President Joe Biden said al-Qurayshi’s death would sent a strong message to terrorists worldwide: “We will come after you and find you.” Here’s a look at several other Middle East terrorists who remain at large and whose whereabouts are sought by the United States.

Ayman al-Zawahiri is the current leader of al-Qaeda. Born into a prominent Egyptian family, al-Zawahiri merged his group, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, with al-Qaeda in 1998. He served as Osama bin Laden's personal physician and closest adviser until his death in 2011.
The US government accuses al-Zawahiri of plotting the USS Cole bombing in Yemen, which killed 17 US sailors in October 2000. He’s also believed to have helped coordinate the 9/11 attacks and was indicted in the United States for his role in the 1988 twin US embassy bombings that killed 224 people in Kenya and Tanzania. In September 2021, al-Zawahiri, who was rumored dead, appeared in a new video marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The US State Department has offered a $25 million reward for information on his location.
Abu Mohammed al-Golani heads Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the US-designated terrorist group that controls much of Idlib province in northwest Syria. HTS emerged from al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in Syria known as al-Nusra Front and has undergone several rebrands. Golani formally broke ties with al-Qaeda in 2016 and in recent years, he has sought to portray HTS as a moderate Syrian opposition group fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Khalid al-Batarfi has been the emir of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula since February 2020, following the death of the Yemeni group’s former leader Qasim al-Rimi in a US airstrike. Al-Batarfi, who previously served as a religious judge and AQAP’s chief spokesperson, called for violence against Jews and the United States in a 2018 video. In February 2021, a United Nations report mistakenly claimed al-Batarfi was captured months earlier in Yemen’s eastern Mahra governorate.
Salim Jamil Ayyash is a former top Hezbollah operative who played a key role in the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. According to the State Department, Ayyash was a senior figure in Unit 121, the group’s assassination squad that receives orders directly from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. In 2020, an international tribunal convicted Ayyash in absentia of terrorism and homicide for his role in the truck bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others. The US government also says Ayyash has been involved in efforts to harm American military personnel.
Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, also known as Muhammad Abbatay, is an al-Qaeda leader... The Moroccan-born terrorist is the son-in-law of al-Zawahiri. The State Department describes him as the longtime director of al-Qaeda’s media arm, al-Shahab.
Ibrahim al-Banna, also known as Abu Ayman al-Masri, is a senior AQAP leader and founding member of the terrorist group. According to the State Department, he has served as the group’s head of security and provided military and security guidance to AQAP’s leadership.

Qatar and NATO discuss joint defence cooperation
By Asmahan Qarjouli, Doha News, February 8, 2022

Qatar’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) and NATO are discussing ways to enhance their joint cooperation in Doha.

anti-qatar cartoon 2011
According to the MOD, Qatar’s Brigadier General Abdulaziz Saleh Al- Sulaiti led the talks with Giovanni Romani, Head of the NATO’s MENA Section of the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division.
The meeting comes days after Qatar’s envoy to the European Union and NATO, Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Al Malki, met with the alliance’s Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoană in Brussels.
Both meetings took place after US President Joe Biden request to designate the Gulf state as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA).
The US President announced the decision during Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visit to Washington last month. Sheikh Tamim is the first Gulf leader to meet Biden at the White House since he took office.
Biden said the designation was in recognition of the ‘strong partnership with Qatar’ over the past 50 years and in an effort to deepen bilateral defence and security cooperation.
Qatar will be the third Gulf state to be added to the list of 17 current MNNA’s, which already includes Bahrain and Kuwait.
Foreign partners on the list receive a number of benefits in areas concerning defence trade and security cooperation with the US.

Qatar-NATO ties expanded in 2018 after the alliance’s forces were allowed to enter and transit through Doha whilst using the Al-Udeid Air Base. The American military base is the largest in the region and hosts up to 10,000 US troops.
Another agreement over supporting the alliance’s missions in the region was signed the same year during Sheikh Tamim’s visit to the NATO’s headquarters in Brussels.
In 2021, Qatar inaugurated its mission and military representation at the NATO’s headquarters in a bid to intensify its bilateral cooperation with the bloc.

Ex-Afghan president: Biden order on frozen funds an atrocity
By Kathry Gannon, Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) 13-2-2022

Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai on Sunday called a White House order to unfreeze $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the U.S. for families of 9/11 victims an atrocity against the Afghan people.
Karzai was Afghanistan’s first democratically elected president after the U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban in 2001. He served until 2014...
At a packed news conference he sought the help of Americans, particularly the families of the thousands killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to press President Joe Biden to rescind last week’s order. He called it “unjust and unfair,” saying Afghans have also been victims of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
The people of Afghanistan share the pain of the American people, share the pain of the families and loved ones of those who died, who lost their lives in the tragedy of September 11,” said Karzai.
“We commiserate with them (but) Afghan people are as much victims as those families who lost their lives. ... Withholding money or seizing money from the people of Afghanistan in their name is unjust and unfair and an atrocity against Afghan people.”
President Biden’s order signed last Friday freed $7 billion in Afghan assets currently held in the United States, to be divided between 9/11 victims and humanitarian aid to Afghans. The $3.5 billion was set aside for a U.S. court to decide whether it can be used to settle claims by families of 9/11 victims. U.S. courts would also have to sign off before the release of humanitarian assistance money.
We “ask the U.S. courts to do the opposite, to return the Afghan money back to the Afghan people,” said Karzai. “This money does not belong to any government ... this money belongs to the people of Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s order calls for the $3.5 billion allocated to humanitarian aid to be put into a trust and be used to assist Afghans, bypassing their Taliban rulers.
But Karzai demanded all $7 billion be returned to Afghanistan’s central bank to further its monetary policy. He argued against giving Afghan reserves to international aid organizations to provide humanitarian aid.
“You give us our own money so that it can be spent for those foreigners who come here, to pay their salaries, to give it to (non-governmental organizations),” he said.

Karzai used the news conference to press the country’s Taliban rulers and their opponents to find a way to come together.
He lobbied for the traditional Afghan grand council, or loya jirga, as a means to find consensus and establish a more representative administration. “We, as Afghans, and the current acting Islamic government must do our best to not give America or any other country any excuse to be against us,” he said.
Anger has been growing in Afghanistan since Friday’s White House announcement. Demonstrators marched again in Kabul on Sunday demanding the money be returned to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s economy is teetering on the brink of collapse after international money stopped coming into the country with the arrival in mid-August of the Taliban.
Last month, the United Nations made a $5 billion appeal for Afghanistan. The U.N. warns that 1 million children are in danger of starving and 90% of Afghans live below the poverty level of just $1.90 a day.

New Libyan Prime Minister Begins Formation of New Cabinet
By Mohamed Emad - Libya Review, February 14, 2022

Libya’s Prime Minister-designate, Fathi Bashagha has begun consultations to form a new government for the country. This comes despite the refusal of the current Prime Minister, Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba to hand over power before elections.
In a speech on Monday, Bashagha described the formation of his government as a “heavy and grave task that will include all Libyan parties. The new government will represent the true meaning of effective political participation from everyone.”
Bashagha also confirmed that he would submit his government to the Libyan Parliament, for a vote of confidence, “at the specified time.” He pointed out that his assignment came, “after a historic agreement between the Parliament and the High Council of State (HCS).” He called on the Libyan people to support him.
The PM-designate stressed the necessity of holding the elections as scheduled, and pledged not to run in the upcoming Presidential elections. He pointed out that, “the process of transferring power will take place in accordance with legal and constitutional mechanisms, by peaceful means, and without obstacles.” He explained that Dbaiba is “a civil and respected figure who does not like wars, and believes in the peaceful transfer of power.”
On Thursday, Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh announced that they have unanimously appointed Fathi Bashagha as the new Prime Minister.
Bashagha hails from the city of Misrata, and was the Minister of Interior of the previous Government of National Accord (GNA). He was a member of the Misrata Military Council, and fought against Muammar Gaddafi during the 2011 uprising.
Notably, Dbaiba said in a speech this week that he would not hand over power until after elections. “Only elections will end the transitional stages,” he claimed.
Dbaiba was appointed in March as head of the UN-backed GNU. This was tasked with uniting the country’s divided institutions, and overseeing the run-up to elections scheduled for December 2021.
Observers fear that Libya will return to having two opposing governments, given Dbaiba’s refusal to cede power to a rival government.

Erdogan's neutrality in Libyan premiership
The Arab Weekly, Thursday 17/02/2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on his return flight from Dubai, Wednesday, "Our ties with Fathi Bashagha are good. On the other hand, (ties) are also good with Dbeibah". He added that "The important thing is who the Libyan people choose and how".
Abdulhamid Dbeibah and his billionaire son-in-law, Ali Dbeibah, maintain strong relations with Turkey. The prime minister has signed many agreements with Turkish companies since coming to power. Analysts believe, however, that Ankara will seek to exploit the calm that prevails in the wider region to cultivate closer relations with forces in the eastern part of Libya.

On Monday, Russia announced its support for the parliament's decision to form a new government.
Moscow was preceded by Egypt in expressing similar support, while the United States, the West and Turkey have maintained their neutrality.
Fathi Bashagha has nurtured good relations with the West, especially Washington. More than a year ago, he was able to restore his relationship with Paris.
The position of Great Britain is not yet clear. At the end of December, Bashagha accused London of "supporting a corrupt government" after it announced its rejection of any change of government in Tripoli.

Turkey provided military support and training to the earlier Libyan Government of National Accord led by Fayez Sarraj, in which Bashagha served as interior minister.
Turkey's position could help settle the Dbeibah-Bashagha clash and prevent the formation of two governments in Tripoli.

Israel News: Gantz Spills The Beans:
Palestinians Can Have an 'Entity, Not a State'
Marwan Asmar, Albawaba News, february 22nd, 2022

Arab leaders should stop talking about peace, the need for peace, the long ongoing stalemated process and the need to revive it. It may never happen regardless of the chit-chat and chin-wagging!
This is simply because Israel doesn’t want peace or the kind that would be a respectable solution accepted by the Palestinians and seconded by the Arab world no doubt. Israel has been dilly-dallying the Arab world since the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991.
The basis for any peaceful solution should be the two-state concept - Palestine and Israel existing side-by-side.
Indeed this is what the Palestinians long called for, a state based on the 1967 borders and accepted by the region under the so-called Arab Initiative of 2002. Even Hamas have said it would mull over the idea. But this seems to be further from the minds of Israeli policy-makers who long felt this is unacceptable and unrealistic and wouldn't fathom such talks.
For sure, especially under the current Israeli government, Jewish politicians are talking to leaders across the Arab world in a warm manner and cordially, but they seek to put the idea of Palestinian independent statehood with self-determination, at the back of their mind and of that of everyone else regardless of international law and UN resolutions.
Take the recent views compounded by the Israel Defense Minister Benny Ganz recently put forward at the Munich Security Conference and under the eyes of the international community. Palestinians may have an ‘entity’ but not statehood.
He said an Israeli "return to the 1967 border will not happen," and Israel will not give up its Jewish settlements on the West Bank and reiterating the fact that "an Israeli return to the pre-1967 is not going to happen".
Ganz added that what the Palestinians can, at best, hope for, is to have an "entity" that is short of statehood. He added this is because of Israel's security needs and considerations which makes an independent state an impossibility...

Saudi Arabia for first time marks its founding,
downplaying conservative roots
The New Arab Staff & Agencies, 22 February, 2022

Saudi Arabia held celebrations on Tuesday to commemorate for the first time its foundation nearly 300 years ago, choosing a date that downplays the central role played by clerics from the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islam.
The government lined up events that include musical performances on Saudi modern history, fireworks, drone shows and sound effects, with 3,500 performers taking part, state media reported.
The anniversary marks the day in 1727 when Mohammed bin Saud, founder of the first Saudi state, took over the emirate of Diriyah - a remote town which now lies on the northwest edge of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

That was about 18 years before what historians generally consider as the beginning of the Saudi state when bin Saud, a tribal leader, forged an alliance with Islamic preacher Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab, whose purist doctrine is often referred to as Wahhabi Islam.
The agreement with the clergy boosted the legitimacy of the Al Saud rulers in exchange for lavish funding and influence granted to the conservative religious establishment over social issues, education and public morality - powers which have recently been curbed by the country's de facto leader.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reined in the religious police, opened the country to concerts and cinemas, lifted a ban on women driving and eased the guardianship system, which gives men significant control over the lives of their female relatives.
A royal decree last month declared February 22 an official holiday, known as "Founding Day", to be commemorated every year in recognition of "the commencement of the reign of Imam Muhammad bin Saud" and marking the start of the first Saudi state.
"Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab is being erased from Saudi history," said Kristin Diwan, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
"This is the new Saudi nationalism. It celebrates the Al Saud - tying the people directly to the royal family - and downplays the pivotal role played by religion in the founding of the state," Diwan said...

Iran and Qatar sign 14 official cooperation documents
By Fatemeh Salari, Doha News, February 22, 2022

Iran and Qatar strengthened bilateral on Monday ties through a series of signed agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) covering major sectors.
The two countries signed a total of 14 different agreements and covered different sectors of cooperation. These include trade, sea and air transportation, visa cancellation, standard, electricity, culture and education.
During the joint session, the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, raised the significance of a strong bilateral relation, saying “strengthening the bilateral interactions between Iran and Qatar must also lead to regional cooperation and role playing of both counties at the international scene, as the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been a truthful neighbour and a true friend for the entire regional countries, including Qatar, and the best proof for that claim is Iran’s permanent support for the oppressed Palestinian nation,” as per reports.
The President further denounced the “efforts made by some countries for naturalising their ties with Israel, reiterating that the presence of “Zionists” in the region is to the loss of all regional countries, because that regime puts at stake the stability and security of other countries to ensure materialising its own interests.”
The Iranian Prime Minister Hossein Amir-Abdolahian, reiterated Iran’s openness to diplomatic ties with the region saying, “strengthening relations with neighbours, especially the Arab countries, is the main priority of Iran’s foreign policy. We extend our hand towards our neighbours.”
The President called on all Iranians outside of Iran to put effort into preserving the “culture of their homeland” and noted that obstacles will be removed in regards to Iranian nationals residing in different countries, making investments or performing economic activities outside of Iran. This is attainable through Iran’s efforts in cooperating with neighbouring countries...

Iran UN-envoy: Anti-terror fight not an excuse
to undermine Syria's sovereignty
IRNA, 26-2-2022

Tehran, IRNA - Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takkht Ravanchi underscored that the illegal presence of foreign forces in parts of Syria have unfortunately paved the way for the emergence of terrorist groups in that country.
"The fight against terrorism cannot be used as an excuse to undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The illegal presence of foreign forces in parts of Syria which has provided favorable conditions for terrorist activities in Syria, must end immediately," Takht Ravanchi made the remarks addressing the United Nations Security Council's meeting on the situation in the Middle East: (Syria).
Syrian people continue to face numerous challenges, and meeting them necessitates hard work in a multitude of sectors.
Nothing is more important or urgent than ending unilateral coercive measures that have harmed the Syrian people to the point where they have been deprived of their basic human rights, including the right to medicine, health care, food, water, electricity, and communications.
These illegal measures negatively impact the delivery of life-saving humanitarian supplies where they are needed most.
Given the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, where "major portions of civilian infrastructure have been destroyed," the Security Council must work diligently to ensure that resolution 2585 is fully implemented, in a balanced and effective manner, especially in terms of early recovery projects and the lifting of unilateral sanctions...
We condemn the robbery of Syrian people's natural resources in areas controlled by foreign forces, particularly oil and agricultural products, and recognize the government's legitimate right to combat such criminal acts.
More importantly, Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity continue to be significantly violated by the unlawful presence of foreign forces, including those of the US...

President al-Assad: Russia does not only defend itself,
but it defends the world and humanity
Syrian Arab News Agency, 25 February 2022

Damascus, SANA- President Bashar al-Assad made a phone call on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Talk during the phone call dealt with the situation in Ukraine, and the special military operation carried out by the Russian Federation to protect civilians in Donbas region.
President al-Assad stressed that what is taking place today is a correction to history and a re-balance of the world that it has lost after the dissolution of the Soviet Union...
The president considered that Russia today doesn’t only defend itself, but it defends the world and principles of justice and humanity.
President al-Assad said that Western countries bear responsibility for chaos and bloodshed as a result of their policies aimed at controlling peoples as these countries use their dirty methods to support terrorists in Syria and the Nazis in Ukraine and in various parts of the world.
The president stressed that Syria supports the Russian Federation, based on its conviction that repelling NATO expansion is Russia’s right, because it has become a global threat to the world and has turned into a tool to achieve the irresponsible policies of Western countries...
President al-Assad considered that the Syrian and Russian armies are confronting one enemy; in Syria it is extremism and in Ukraine it is Nazism...
For his part, President Putin stressed that the special military operation in Donbas aims to restore stability and stop the suffering of the people there during the last eight years.
He added that his country has been depending on negotiations and diplomacy during the past years and the decision to use force was taken only after the Ukrainian authorities, backed by their Western masters, announced their non-compliance with the agreements ratified by the parliaments of the two countries, and after the Donetsk and Luhansk republics submitted a request for military support...

Russian Foreign Minister: NATO Destroyed Libya
By Mohamed Emad, Libya Review, February 26, 2022

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) had destroyed Libya and Iraq under the illusion of democracy.
In a press conference, the BBC correspondent described the Russian Foreign Minister’s speech as containing delusions and aphorisms, saying that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not a limited military operation, but rather a Russian takeover of all of Ukraine.
Lavrov responded sarcastically to the journalist’s comment by saying, ”fantastically, we should learn a lot from all the interventions in Yugoslavia, as the West destroyed Libya and Iraq, and all this was in defence of democracy.”

Sunday, March 20, 2011
Obama Starts Another Illegal War
When NATO intervened in Libya, it contributed to the destruction of the state,” Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Antalya on Wednesday.
“But now it is necessary to contain all Libyan parties to engage in the political process, including the Libyan National Army (LNA),” Lavrov added.
The Russian Foreign Minister expressed his conviction that the Libyan people should regain control of their own affairs in their country.

In July 2021, Lavrov accused NATO of destroying the Libyan state due to NATO’s interventions and policies in Libya since 2011.
In January 2022, NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that the war waged by Western powers in 2011 in Libya against the forces of the country’s late leader, Moammar Gaddafi, took place at the initiative of the European Union (EU), not NATO.
At the conclusion of a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels, Stoltenberg said, “it was first of all an initiative by the EU. Only after a certain time had passed, the European allies requested assistance, and NATO provided support to the allies in operations in Libya.”
From March 19th to October 31st, 2011 the forces of Western countries carried out a military campaign in Libya under the pretext of ensuring the security of civilians in the hostilities that took place.
The attack played a key role in the overthrow of the Libyan regime and the victory of the rebels near the city of Sirte on October 20th, 2011.

Did We Provoke Putin’s War in Ukraine?
February 24, 2022 by Patrick J. Buchanan

When Russia’s Vladimir Putin demanded that the U.S. rule out Ukraine as a future member of the NATO alliance, the U.S. archly replied: NATO has an open-door policy. Any nation, including Ukraine, may apply for membership and be admitted. We’re not changing that.
In the Bucharest declaration of 2008, NATO had put Ukraine and Georgia, ever farther east in the Caucasus, on a path to membership in NATO and coverage under Article 5 of the treaty, which declares that an attack on any one member is an attack on all.
Unable to get a satisfactory answer to his demand, Putin invaded and settled the issue. Neither Ukraine nor Georgia will become members of NATO. To prevent that, Russia will go to war, as Russia did last night. Putin did exactly what he had warned us he would do.
Thirty-six hours into this Russia-Ukraine war two questions need to be answered: How did we get here? And where do we go from here?
How did we get to where Russia — believing its back is against a wall and the United States, by moving NATO ever closer, put it there — reached a point where it chose war with Ukraine rather than accepting the fate and future it believes the West has in store for Mother Russia?

Consider. Between 1989 and 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev let the Berlin Wall be pulled down, Germany be reunited and all the “captive nations” of Eastern Europe go free.
Having collapsed the Soviet empire, Gorbachev allowed the Soviet Union to dissolve itself into 15 independent nations. Communism was allowed to expire as the ruling ideology of Russia, the land where Leninism and Bolshevism first took root in 1917.
Gorbachev called off the Cold War in Europe by removing all of the causes on Moscow’s side of the historic divide.
Putin, a former KGB colonel, came to power in 1999 after the disastrous decadelong rule of Boris Yeltsin, who ran Russia into the ground.
In that year, 1999, Putin watched as America conducted a 78-day bombing campaign on Serbia, the Balkan nation that had historically been a protectorate of Mother Russia.
That year, also, three former Warsaw Pact nations, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, were brought into NATO. Against whom were these countries to be protected by U.S. arms and the NATO alliance, the question was fairly asked. The question seemed to be answered fully in 2004, when Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria were admitted into NATO, a grouping that included three former republics of the USSR itself, as well as three more former Warsaw Pact nations.
Then, in 2008, came the Bucharest declaration that put Georgia and Ukraine, both bordering on Russia, on a path to NATO membership.
Georgia, the same year, attacked its seceded province of South Ossetia, where Russian troops were acting as peacekeepers, killing some.
This triggered a Putin counterattack through the Roki Tunnel in North Ossetia that liberated South Ossetia and moved into Georgia all the way to Gori, the birthplace of Stalin.
George W. Bush, who had pledged “to end tyranny in our world,” did nothing. After briefly occupying part of Georgia, the Russians departed but stayed as protectors of the South Ossetians.
The U.S. establishment has declared this to have been a Russian war of aggression, but an EU investigation blamed Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for starting the war.
In 2014, a democratically elected pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown in Kyiv and replaced by a pro-Western regime.
Rather than lose Sevastopol, Russia’s historic naval base in Crimea, Putin seized the peninsula and declared it Russian territory.
Which brings us to today.
Whatever we may think of Putin, he is no Stalin. He has not murdered millions or created a gulag archipelago. Nor is he “irrational,” as some pundits rail. He does not want a war with us...
Putin is a Russian nationalist, patriot, traditionalist and a realist looking out to preserve Russia as the great and respected power it once was and he believes it can be again.

'Racist and dehumanizing:'
Western media coverage of Ukraine's plight criticized
Layal Shakir, Rudaw news, Kurdistan Region, 28-2-2022

A Middle Eastern journalist’s network early Monday called on media outlets and news organizations to be “mindful of implicit and explicit bias” in their coverage of the Ukrainian crisis following several remarks by reporters, media pundits, and political figures, that described Ukraine as more “civilized” in comparison to other war-torn countries, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and others.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the biggest conflict that Europe has seen in decades. It has shocked the globe, with civilians sympathizing with Ukrainians who are either hiding in bunkers or have already fled the country.
However, correspondents of several prominent media outlets are contextualizing conflict, describing it as more “civilized” than conflicts in the Middle East.
"This isn't Iraq or Afghanistan...This is a relatively civilized, relatively European city,” CBS foreign correspondent Charlie D’Agata said, apologizing for his comment later.
The Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA) condemned and rejected the “orientalist and racist implications that any population or country is ‘uncivilized’ or bears economic factors that make it worthy of conflict....”
Such commentary “reflects the pervasive mentality in Western journalism of normalizing tragedy in parts of the world,” as it “dehumanizes and renders their experience with war as somehow normal and expected,” it added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine on Thursday (24-2-2022)...
Hundreds of journalists have descendent in Kyiv to cover the conflict, commending Ukraine’s resistance to Russia, while also underlying the horror at how such a conflict could happen to “European people with blue eyes and blonde hair,” and in areas that are not Iraq or Afghanistan.
“It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed,” Ukraine’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor David Sakvarelidze said in a BBC news segment.
“This time, war is wrong because the people look like us and have Instagram and Netflix accounts. It is not in a poor, remote country anymore,” columnist Daniel Hannan, who is also a member of the UK Board of Trade, wrote in the British newspaper The Telegraph.
The comments were met with anger on social media, with several users labeling the remarks as “double standards”.

middle east - refugees

At least 929,000 people were killed by direct war violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan, according to a report published by Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, which seeks to promote a just and peaceful world through research, teaching, and public engagement.
Millions of people living in war zones have also been displaced by war. More than 38 million people in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria, have been forcibly displaced post-America’s 9/11 wars.

Nasrallah on Ukraine Crisis
Al-Manar, March 1, 2022

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned that events taking place in Ukraine are dangerous, slamming double-standard policies adopted by international community regarding this crisis.
During a conference in memorial of former Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the US is not trustworthy, noting that Washington has been inciting in the latest weeks in a bid to escalate the situation between Ukraine and Russia.
“What’s happening today between Russian and Ukraine is dangerous and all options are open. The US is to blame over the crisis in Ukraine, Washington has been inciting and working on this scenario for weeks,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, addressing attendees of the conference in Beirut.
The Hezbollah S.G. criticized the world’s reaction towards the ongoing battle in Ukraine compared to other wars launched by the US and the Zionist entity against oppressed people.
“How did the international community react to wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria and Yemen? And how did it react to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine?

Russia reaffirms interest in Iraq and Kurdistan Region
Rudaw News, Kurdistan Region, 1-3-2022

While Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine continues, a top Russian official told Rudaw on Monday that the country has invested up to $14 billion in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, mainly focusing on the energy sector.
Asked about the situation in Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to Iraq Elbrus Kutrashev told Rudaw's Rebaz Ali that it was a "big drama," adding that "Ukraine is a friendly brother state for Russians." Kutrashev also said that ethnic Ukrainians and Russians are one people, with the same origins and an almost identical language.
His country’s investments are "mostly" dedicated to Russia's projects in southern Iraq, and partly in the Kurdistan Region, the ambassador said. He added that "at least $2 billion" of the total $14 billion investment has been allocated to the Kurdistan Region, mostly centered on the oil and gas sector.
Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, and Rosneft are some of the major Russian oil and gas companies operating in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed contracts with giant Russian oil and gas firms in 2014 and 2017 to work in several oilfields across the Region, implementing geological exploration programs and exporting crude oil.
Moscow and the Kurdistan Region enjoy good relations, especially in the energy sector. In December, the Russian presidential envoy to the Middle East met with Kurdish officials in Erbil where both sides advocated for stronger ties.

Egypt urges quick political solution to Russia-Ukraine crisis,
rejects unilateral economic sanctions
Amr Kandil , Ahram online, 2 Mar 2022

Egypt called on Wednesday for a quick political solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis through peaceful means, warning of the crisis’s impact on the already-suffering global economy.
“Seeking a political solution to the crisis using dialogue and peaceful means and through active diplomacy should remain in the sights of all of us to deal with the current crisis,” Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN Osama Abdel-Khalek said.
Abdel-Khalek made the remarks during a speech at a rare emergency special session of the 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has drawn global condemnation and was slapped by western sanctions after it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has claimed the lives of scores and forced hundreds of thousands to flee from the country.
“Egypt rejects the approach of employing economic sanctions outside the framework of the mechanisms of the multilateral international system,” Abdel-Khalek said.
He warned that similar sanctions in the past had caused “severe negative humanitarian effects” and resulted in the exacerbation of the suffering of millions of people over the past decades.
“Egypt reiterates its warning against economic and social effects of the current crisis on the entire global economy, which is still suffering from the pandemic’s repercussions,” Abdel-Khalek said, adding that the growing disruption in supply chains and international air traffic is proof of this.
Abdel-Khalek warned against ignoring the need to remove the roots of the Russia-Ukraine crisis to achieve security and stability and defuse the crisis...

Israel National News - Prime Minister Bennett:
World leaders must act quickly to prevent disaster in Ukraine
Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, 03.03.2022

Speaking at the Cybertech conference at the Tel Aviv Expo, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appealed to world leaders to step in to renew negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, before it's too late.
"There is a terrible war going on in Ukraine," Bennett said. "War is horrific ... we in Israel have had our fair share of wars and I can tell you one big lesson: Wars are easy to start and very difficult to finish.
"Things are looking bad on the ground right now," he continued, "but it's important to understand that if world leaders don't act quickly, it can get much worse. I'm talking about untold loss of life, total destruction of Ukraine, millions of refugees, and it's not too late.
"It's the responsibility of the major players in the world to act rapidly to get the two sides out of the battlefield and to the negotiating table," the Prime Minister concluded.

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