Saddam's Death, 56
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 55: july 2015, Page 57: september 2015
Page 41:
Israel & The Gaza War and The Temple Revolution
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

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

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

"Zionism [..] has transformed into an imperialistic claw used against the Arab nation. Zionism has partnered wit imperialism and participated in its economic and political plans. Moreover, it relies on its unfounded, historical belief for the purpose of destroying the Arab nation... This means maintaining the weak state of the Arab nation...
Zionism regards unity of Arabs as contradictory to its existence. Therefore, Zionism's line of defense is based on the principle that the Arab nation must be broken....
It is necessary for Zionism to revive all the old historical frictions that took place in the path of nationhood, so it can use them [..] to break up the fabric of Arab nations." (The Saddam's tapes, 1978-2001, page 67)

"Syria is the heart of the Middle East. Everybody knows that. If the Middle East is sick, the whole world will be unstable. In 1991, when we started the peace process, we had a lot of hope. Now, after over 20 years, things are not at square one; they’re much below that square.

So the policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power."

Bashar Al-Assad, January 26th, 2015

President Bashar, 'Le Figaro' interview 3-9-2013: "How can the parliamentarians convince the French public that their country is secular, yet at the same time it supports extremism and sectarianism in other parts of the world? How can France advocate for democracy but yet one of its closest allies – Saudi Arabia – is still living in medieval times?"
"My message to the French Parliamentarians is: go back to the principles of the French Revolution that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality."

"A lot of rulers today still view principled people, who persist in defending their noble and just causes and who refuse to compromise at the expense of their peoples, their nations, the honour of their cause, their integrity and their principles, as a burden on them.
The policy of the United States still finds in this kind of genuine, honest and loyal people an obstacle before their evil and futile ambitions towards the world and humanity at large..." Saddam Hoessein, Oath and Speech, INA 17-10-2002

"The majority of people who imitate philosophers confuse the true with the false, and they do nothing but deceive and pretend knowledge, and they do not use what they know of the sciences except for base and material purposes; and if they see a certain person seeking for the right and preferring the truth, doing his best to refute the false and untrue and leaving aside hypocrisy and deceit, they make a fool of him and mock him."

Omar Khayyam, 18-5-1048, Nishapur - Persia

Joseph Goebbels: Propaganda has nothing to do with truth

When Goebbels was asked what he considered was good propaganda he replied thus:
"That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result, however intelligent it is, for it is not propaganda's task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.
Therefore no one can say your propaganda is too rough, too mean; these are not criteria by which it may be characterized. It ought not be decent, nor ought it be soft and humble; it ought to lead to success...





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)


"We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community." Haile Selassie

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned.., until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation..., until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes.., until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race...., until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained..." Haile Selassie 6-10-1963

A new, extremely dangerous kind of Jewish fanaticism
Using freedom of expression to recruit hate criminals
Nauhum Barnea, YNet News|Opinion, 4-8-2015

"The Shin Bet has been dealing in the past year with a radical group of young messianic Jews aiming to bring down the Zionist state and replace it with a holy kingdom. In order to fulfill their goal, they are willing to sacrifice their lives and have no problem killing." Alex Fishman

I am angry...
Israel's governments should have treated the settler public differently. They shouldn't have gave in to the lawbreakers in Sebastia, they shouldn't have pardoned the Jewish Underground terrorists prematurely, they shouldn't have – acting on an order from above – skipped the rabbis who inflamed Yigal Amir, funded their whims, winked at them and flattered them.
Governments are not the only ones who sinned deeply here. The Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Meir Shamgar and mainly under the leadership of Chief Justice Aharon Barak, gave full, remarkably liberal protection to the freedom of expression on the one hand, while on the other hand legitimizing the settlement enterprise in the territories in different ways.

It was a lethal combination. It opened the door to weeds like Kahane Chai, the Lehava organization and the price tag gang. It conveyed a message to the judges in the lower courts, to the State Prosecutor's Office, to the police, that political delinquency can be forgiven as part of the freedom of expression. There is no wonder that slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's widow, Leah, refused to shake Barak's hand over her husband's grave.

Freedom of expression is a noble value... But the court has failed to equip democracy with the tools it needs to defend itself against those who are turning freedom of expression into a basis for recruiting hate criminals.
This applies both to extreme right-wing organizations and to the haredim. Hate crimes are usually not committed in an empty space: There is an atmosphere, there are instigators, there is a supportive community.

The recurring waves of terror and the failure of the peace process, and perhaps the demographic changes as well, have made the Israeli street more rightist.
The voters wanted a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Little did they know they would be getting a government which depends on the finger of one Bezalel Smotrich, a Knesset member on behalf of the Bayit Yehudi faction, who combines both haredi for Arabs and hatred for the LGBT community. He is the supreme authority.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the head of Smotrich's party, asked if he could speak at the LGBT protest on Saturday evening. He was offended when his request was turned down. "I wanted to tell them I love them," Bennett said. "I disagree with them and I love them." ...
The members of the LGBT community don’t need his patronizing love. They need security.
The education system Bennett is in charge of is afflicted with racism and homophobia. He should start with the state-religious education and the ultra-Orthodox streams.


Rouhani invites nation to ‘think globally, act domestically’
Mehr News, 5 August 2015

Iranian high school students have come in first place in the 9th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (Press TV, 4-8-2015)

President Hassan Rouhani called on the administrative body to think on a global scale but take actions toward promoting domestic production.
“Some think the opposite, that we should think on a domestic scale and apply our ideas globally, which is impossible,” said Rouhani...

The Iranian president asserted that that the educational system must be founded on ‘independence’, and expressed the need for the modernization of education, the public sphere and the opinions of the younger generation in the country.

Lauding Iran’s historic nuclear achievement, the president reaffirmed that one must not yield to the demands of major powers but rather move toward attaining its own rights and objectives through logic, reasoning, and the art of negotiation and diplomacy.
“The Geneva interim agreement showed that a win-win negotiation is possible, and constructive interaction is the right way to go,” said Rouhani.


Time for an update of Judaism
Orna Oshri, YNet News|Opinion 5-8-2015

Quran 9:30: The Jews say, 'Ezra is the Son of God'; the Christians say, 'The Messiah is the Son of God.' ... How they are perverted!
They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from God, and the Messiah, Mary's son -- and they were commanded to serve but One God; there is no god but He; glory be to Him, above what they associate with Him...

Matthew 22: When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord with al your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

I've been grappling with Judaism for many years... I considered (and still do) faith in a higher power to be a far-fetched idea, and that was pretty much all I had to say about religion.
All that changed completely about two years ago, when I got to know a genuine haredi family through the Havruta project - a family that became my second home, and my great love...
My friendship with religious Jews has led to quite a few heated arguments...
I make the argument that Judaism is a chauvinistic and arcane religion, they give me some Yiddishkeit about a compassionate, divine and eternal religion...
The thing that stands out most when talking to haredim is their lack of willingness to admit that Halacha laws, and their public, need an update. It's time to remove the facade of pleasantness and say: Original Judaism, the manufacturer's version, is harsh, judgmental and racist...


Netanyahu, teaching Jewish kids to handle their anger

Delving into the depths of the Bible paints the picture of a violent and bloody reality, and digging into the Mishnah and the Talmud reveals infuriating differences between menand women and exposes the pettiness of many Halacha laws.
All of this is done under the cover of endless philosophizing of men and even more men.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews' attempt to live today according to these ancient perceptions is absurd in my opinion, but it would've been perfectly acceptable if it was limited to their courts.


Chuck Schumer Breaks With Obama
"I am a 'shomer' (guardian) for Israel"
Huffington Post, 6-8-2015

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber's third-ranking Democrat, plans to announce his opposition to the nuclear deal negotiated by the U.S., Iran, and five world powers.
As the soon-to-be leader of his party in the Senate, Schumer’s decision to directly fight President Barack Obama on the biggest foreign policy achievement of his presidency is a bold, but not surprising, move.
Schumer has long been more hawkish on foreign policy than some of his fellow Democrats.
In 2002, he voted for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq. In 2006 he backed John Bolton's nomination to serve as George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly telling a Senate Democratic caucus meeting that "a vote against Bolton was a vote against Israel." Bolton is an ardent foe of negotiation with Iran.

In response to Schumer's announcment, MoveOn, an anti-war advocacy group and political action committee vowed to launch a donor strike against the Democratic Party...
"No real Democratic leader does this," MoveOn wrote of the incoming party leader in a statement. "If this is what counts as 'leadership' among Democrats in the Senate, Senate Democrats should be prepared to find a new leader..."

The New York Senator has developed close ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group that has pledged over $20 million to kill the nuclear accord.
During his 34 years in Congress, Schumer has become fond of telling his voters that his surname is derived from “shomer,” the Hebrew word for “guardian.”
“I am a shomer for Israel and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body,” he said in 2010.

"They don't believe in the Torah. They don't believe in King David. So, they don't think it's our land..."

Charles Ellis "Chuck" Schumer (born November 23, 1950) is the senior United States Senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party. Schumer was born in Brooklyn, the son of Selma and Abraham Schumer. His family is Jewish.
Schumer was a supporter of the Iraq War Resolution. He is a strident pro-Israel member of Congress. In a June 3, 2008 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Schumer wrote that cooperative economic sanctions could topple Iran's theocratic government.
Speaking at an Orthodox Union event in Washington D.C, in June 2010, he defended Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. He called on Israel to "strangle them economically until they see that's not the way to go".
He also said, "The Palestinian people still don't believe in a Jewish state, in a two state solution... They don't believe in the Torah. They don't believe in King David. So, they don't think it's our land..." (Wikipedia Info)

Flashback: Netanyahu Pens Letter in Sefer Torah
By Chabad.org Staff, August 8, 2014

Chabad: For a Jew, the Land of Israel is more than a place. It is a body for the soul of a people.
"The land upon which the eyes of G-d your G-d constantly gaze…" (Deuteronomy 11:12)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a ceremony with Chabad rabbis and representatives, prepares to pen a letter in a Sefer Torah honoring soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.
The prime minister took part in what he called an especially moving ceremony, and said of the upcoming press conference: “There, I will do again what the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory) told me to do decades ago — to light a small candle in the great darkness of lies that surrounds us.”
Netanyahu revealed that on Shabbat during the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza, “the only time that I have a few minutes with my family, we read the weekly Torah portion at the end of our Shabbat meal together, and this gives us a lot of strength.”

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, director of the Chabad Youth Organization in Israel, emphasized the importance of encouraging Jewish men everywhere to do tefillin, pointing to the “Tefillin Campaign” launched by the Rebbe before the Six-Day War in 1967, noting that: “The nations of the world will see that the name of God is called upon you, and they will fear you.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)


Jewish terror & the State of Judea
Ynet News, 7-8-2015

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin criticized the government's handling of West Bank extremists in the wake of the Jewish terror attack in Duma.
"Alongside the State of Israel, a de facto State of Judea is being formed," Diskin wrote in a lengthy Facebook post warning of a potentially irreversible situation.
"In the State of Judea there are different standards, different value systems, different attitudes towards democracy, and there are two legal systems," he asserted.
"In the State of Judea, law enforcement is shockingly weak towards Jews. In the State of Judea, anarchistic, anti-state, violent, and racist ideologies are forming over the years, and they are treated tolerantly by the Israeli legal and judicial system."

According to the former security service chief, hard-line, extremist settlers are setting the tone within Religious Zionism.
Anyone who thinks we are only talking about a few dozen of delusional youths is making a big mistake. In the State of Judea, there are many hundreds of youths supporting messianic and/or anarchistic, anti-state ideologies.
"Among these many hundreds are dozens who daily adopt different levels of violence or terrorism against Palestinian lives and property," wrote the ex-Shin Bet boss. "Among them are dozens who would be willing to unhesitatingly take part in violence and terrorism when they see the value of "sacred land" as being put to the test..."

Iran is not Israel's real problem

Yuval Diskin, 24-7-2014: "I have always claimed that Iran is not Israel's real problem. It is this conflict with the Palestinians, which has lasted way too long and which has just intensified yet again. The conflict is, in combination with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the biggest security risk for the state of Israel. But Netanyahu has made the invocation of an existential threat from Iran into his mantra, it is almost messianic. And of course he has derived political profit from it. It is much easier to create consensus about the Iranian existential threat than about an agreement with the Palestinians."


Obama v. Bibi — Fight to the Finish
By Patrick J. Buchanan, 7-8-2015

"As the Prime Minister made clear at the UN, the approach of the international community toward Iran should not be Trust and Verify. It should be Distrust, Dismantle and Verify - again and again and again..." Ron Dermer, Aipac Speech 15-10-2013
In his desperation to sink the Iran nuclear deal, Bibi Netanyahu is taking a hellish gamble.
Israel Ambassador Ron Dermer, a former Republican operative now cast in the role of “Citizen Genet,” has intensively lobbied the Hill to get Congress to pass a resolution of rejection. If that resolution passes, as it appears it will, Obama will veto it.
Then Israel, the Israeli lobby AIPAC, and all its allies and auxiliaries in the think tanks and on op-ed pages will conduct a full-court press to have Congress override the Obama veto and kill his nuclear deal.

There would be rejoicing in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and Bibi would be crowned King of Capitol Hill. But they will have humiliated an American president by crushing him by two-to-one in his own legislature.
Such a defeat could break the Obama presidency and force the resignation of John Kerry, who would have become a laughing stock in international forums.
The message would go out to the world. In any clash between the United States and Israel over U.S. policy in the Middle East, bet on Bibi. Bet on Israel. America is Israel’s poodle now.

Israel is massively interfering in our internal affairs to scuttle a deal the president believes is in the vital interests of the United States.
When the U.S. and Israel disagree over U.S. policy in the Mideast, who decides for America? Them or us?
Why does Barack Obama take this? Why does John Kerry take this?

The president should declare Dermer persona non grata and send him packing, then tell the Israeli government we will discuss a new arms package when you have a prime minister who understands that no nation interferes in the internal affairs of the United States. None.

Marathon diplomacy for a political solution in Syria
Farah al-Zaman Shawki, Al-Araby, 5 August, 2015

Following the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, and signs of Gulf acceptance of the deal, diplomatic efforts to end Syrian conflict are intensifying.
Tehran was the centre of Russian, Iranian, and Syrian diplomatic activity this week, after high-level talks were held in Doha to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal on Monday, as well as regional developments, led by the situation in Yemen and Syria.

In Doha, a tripartite meeting was held between Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, mainly to discuss Syria. The climate surrounding the talks was said to be positive, according to Gulf sources who closely followed the meetings.
Hours after the Doha meetings, Russian Middle East envoy Mikhail Bogdanov flew to the Iranian capital to meet with the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. On Tuesday evening, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem arrived in Tehran as well.

Abdollahian told the Iranian news agency ISNA following his meeting with Bogdanov that they discussed an initiative for a settlement in Syria. The initiative, which Tehran had presented to the United Nations earlier, contains four clauses: a ceasefire to be observed by all parties, border controls to prevent the entry of militants and arms to Syria, opening crossings for aid convoys to the affected areas, and launching a Syrian dialogue to produce a national unity government...
Former Iranian diplomat Hadi Afqahi told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the Iranian initiative would bring about a major strategic shift in the near future, citing the flexibility shown by Arab and Western actors regarding Syria, most recently in Doha.

Russian, Saudi Foreign Ministers to Hold Talks in Moscow on August 11
Al-Manar News, 7-8-2015

Saudi-RussiaRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Adel Jubeir will hold talks in Moscow on August 11, a source in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Russia told RIA Novosti.
‘Indeed, the meeting will be held on Tuesday [August 11]," the representative of the embassy said.
This would be the first visit of the Saudi minister to Russia. The two ministers are expected to discuss global security, oil prices and military issues.
On Monday, Lavrov met with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Jubeir in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss the Syrian civil war.

Russia will receive delegations from the Syrian opposition
Syria Online, 7-8-2015

The Russian President’s Special Envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov affirmed on Friday that the Syrians alone must decide their country’s fate through political dialogue, pointing out that Russia will receive delegations from the Syrian opposition in the coming period.
In a statement to Russia Today TV channel, Bogdanov said that Moscow is encouraging Syrians to sit to the dialogue table in accordance with Geneva communiqué, adding that Moscow is working on finding solutions to the crises in the region.
On August 4, Bogdanov reviewed with Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem in Tehran the outcomes of meetings held by the Russian side with countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The talks focused on the need for joint efforts to implement the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin on establishing a regional coalition to combat terrorism.


Former Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Says
Rise of Islamic State Was “A Willful Decision”
By Brad Hoff, August 07, 2015 "Information Clearing House"

In Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.”

Hasan: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it.., but who wasn’t listening?
Flynn: I think the administration, the administration turned a blind eye...
Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?
Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?
Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

Hasan himself expresses surprise at Flynn’s frankness during this portion of the interview. While holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan reads aloud key passages such as, “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn does the opposite: he confirms that while acting DIA chief he “paid very close attention” to this report in particular and later adds that “the intelligence was very clear.”
Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you’re worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?
Flynn: I hate to say it’s not my job…but that…my job was to…was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be.

The early reporting that treated the DIA memo as newsworthy and hugely revelatory was criticized and even mocked by some experts, as well as outlets like The Daily Beast. Yet the very DIA director at the time the memo was drafted and circulated widely now unambiguously confirms the document to be of high value, and indicates that it served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House.

As Michael Flynn also previously served as director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda, his honest admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature.

Flashback: Al-Qaeda gaining foothold in Syria
Associated Press|YNet news 11-8-2012

Al-Qaeda has advanced beyond isolated pockets of activity in Syria and now is building a network of well-organized cells, according to US intelligence officials.
Washington fears the terrorists could be on the verge of establishing an Iraq-like foothold that would be hard to defeat if rebels eventually oust President Bashar Assad. At least a couple of hundred al-Qaeda-linked militants are already operating in Syria, and their ranks are growing as foreign fighters stream into the Arab country daily, current and former US intelligence officials said.
The units are spreading from city to city, with veterans of the Iraq insurgency employing their expertise in bomb-building to carry out more than two dozen attacks so far. Others are using their experience in coordinating small units of fighters in Afghanistan to win new followers.
Once operating as disparate, disconnected units, the al-Qaeda cells are now communicating and sometimes cooperating on missions, with a command-and-control structure evolving to match more sophisticated operations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, US officials said. The coordination is sometimes as good as that of Syria's mainstream rebels.


Bashar al-Assad's speech, Uruknet, 10-1-2012
The strength of Arabism lies in its diversity

The social structure of the Arab world, with its large diversity, is based on two strong and integrated pillars: Arabism and Islam. Both of them are great, rich and vital.
Consequently, we cannot blame them for the wrong human practices. Furthermore, the Muslim and Christian diversity in our country is a major pillar of our Arabism and a foundation of our strength. ...
We should always know that Arabism is an identity not a membership. Arabism is an identity given by history not a certificate given by an organization. Arabism is an honor that characterizes Arab peoples not a stigma carried by some pseudo-Arabs on the Arab or world political stage. ...
The last thing in Arabism is race. Arabism is a question of civilization, a question of common interests, common will and common religions. It is about the things which bring about all the different nationalities which live in this place.
The strength of this Arabism lies in its diversity not in its isolation and not in its one colordness. Arabism hasn’t been built by the Arabs.
Arabism has been built by all those non-Arabs who contributed to building it and those who belong to this rich society in which we live.
Its strength lies in its diversity. ... The strength of our Arabism lies in openness, diversity and in showing this diversity not integrating it to look like one component. Arabism has been accused for decades of chauvinism. This is not true. If there are chauvinistic individuals, this doesn’t mean that Arabism is chauvinistic. It is a condition of civilization.

See also: Saddam's Death, page 15 (august 2012)

Iran’s Initiative for Peace in Syria
"It is about avoiding a failed Syrian state"
FARS News Agency, 9-8-2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is submitting a new peace plan to the United Nations in favor of a political settlement in Syria.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the plan, drafted after "detailed consultations" between Damascus and Tehran, is an amended version of an Iranian initiative presented last year.
The initiative comes amid a strategic change in the attitude of some “Assad must go” regional players with regard to Syria. But that’s not the only reason. The Pentagon’s program to train “moderate” militants in Syria is in tatters too.
The fate of the American training program has been a major topic at the Pentagon since reports that most of the US-trained Syrians and foreign “jihadis” have either joined the terrorist group of ISIL or have been abducted by al-Nusra Front after they entered Syria from Turkey.

Under the Iranian initiative, it is possible to make headway on the settlement of the crisis, while simultaneously working to achieve progress in launching a political process that would be accepted by all Syrian parties.
What is needed is dialogue spanning the entire Syrian political spectrum leading to a political process with certain parameters to be agreed by mutual consent between the Syrian government and the opposition...
Iran and Russia place store on Syria’s unity and the preservation of its army and security forces.
The logical progression of the Iranian initiative will be to enhance the Syrian government’s position by returning the country to the international community and thereby bring the unnecessary conflict to an end...

The peace plan is not about Tehran trying to sustain its sway in Damascus. It is about avoiding a failed Syrian state, thereby ensuring that the country does not remain a reservoir for terrorism the world over.


Hassan A. Barari: "Dethrone Assad"
Arab News (Saudi Arabia), Monday 10 August 2015


'Syrian Arab Army' soldiers in Aleppo

Amid the most recent talks about a potential political settlement in Syria, the recurrent question of the future of Bashar Assad has come to fore.
Observers question whether Assad and his family (in addition to the inner circle of the ruling regime) should have any role in the proposed transitional governing body which will be entrusted with the task of restoring security and peace.

Western countries and 'key Arab countries' argued that Assad should be excluded from the political transition from the get-go. This opinion was dismissed by Iran and Russia.
Now, it seems that much has changed and Assad is getting weaker and weaker. Given the series of military defeat of Assad forces, a few in the region believe that Assad can survive in the medium or long run... And yet, Iran is still in denial. Its initiative, though it refers to a transitional government, considers Assad as a key component of the solution.
Iran will most likely maintain its support for Assad until it realizes that its policy has outlived its usefulness...

The tripartite meeting of Kerry, Lavrov, and Al-Jubeir in Doha last week should lay the ground for a more coordinated strategy to reach a political settlement enabling the Syrians to dethrone Assad in order to form a front to fight terrorism.

As of 2014, Freedom House rates the kingdom's press and internet "Not Free".
All newspapers in Saudi Arabia are privately owned, but their publishers and editors are appointed or must be approved by the government...
Editors and journalists are aware that any expression of opposition to or criticism of the government in general, and members of the ruling Al-Saud family in particular, is not accepted or tolerated.

Putin’s initiative to create ‘united front’ to fight ISIS
intrigues US, allies – Lavrov, Russia Today 9 Aug, 2015

The US and its allies should cooperate with Syrian President Bashar Assad in fighting Islamic State, “a common enemy” of the international community, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Sunday.
“Our American partners and some countries in the region persistently refuse to recognize Assad as a partner, which is rather strange,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russian state Television channel Rossiya 1, aired on Sunday. “Assad was a fully legitimate partner in destroying chemical arms but somehow he is not when it comes to fighting terrorism.”
A coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL), as planned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, would “bring together all those already fighting on the ground,” that is, the Syrian and Iraqi armies, the Kurds and “the part of the armed opposition that represents Syrians.”
“Instead of settling their scores with one another, first one must deal with the common threat, and then seek to agree on how to live in their own country,” Lavrov said.
He revealed that President Putin’s initiative was “two-trekked”, proposing both a coalition of people who fight Islamic State militants on the ground and the promotion of a “political process” in order to prevent the incitement of civil war in Syria.

The foreign minister also recalled two recent meetings with his US counterpart John Kerry. He said he warned Kerry there was high risk that any fatal mistake in Syria could aggravate the conflict, to the point that nothing could control it. A much easier way, according to Lavrov, could be the negotiating table, but “the Americans are unfortunately not ready for it.”
On Tuesday, Lavrov is to discuss Syria and IS with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Moscow, according to RIA-Novosti.


HRW Urges Saudis to Free Pro-Reform Writer
By Naharnet Newsdesk, 10-8-2015

Human Rights Watch on Monday urged the Saudi Arabian authorities to free a writer and commentator arrested after he called on television for political reforms in the absolute Gulf monarchy.
Zuhair Kutbi, 62, was detained on July 15 after an interview in June in which he called for reforms including "transforming the country into a constitutional monarchy and combating religious and political repression," the New York-based HRW said.
"Authorities apparently questioned him about his television appearance, which had attracted considerable attention on social media," said the watchdog, adding that his writings had previously earned him six similar arrests.

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

In a recent interview, the Saudi writer Zuhair Kutbi complains that "The [Saudi] Regime's Efforts at National Dialogue [for Reform] Achieved Nothing" (Memri, Clip No. 4993, June 22, 2015):

[The success of the King Abdulaziz Center's National Dialogue for reforming Saudi society from within was, f]rankly speaking, . . . about zero percent . . . . It was nothing but hot air, a waste of public funds, eating, drinking . . . I was there . . . . [Y]ou have to distinguish between National Dialogue as an institution and dialogue itself . . . . If only they had implemented even 10% of what was discussed in the 100 or so National Dialogue sessions.

The National Dialogue institution has gained nothing positive for Saudi society... We all demanded to change the religious discourse. It has not changed, and it will not change either . . . . [T]hey turned off our microphones . . . mine . . . twice . . . . due to the content, not time. They cut me off. And when the session aired on TV, . . . my remarks had been omitted...

Let me be frank . . . , although I know that I am being harsh: Most Saudi intellectuals are cowards. They are cowards and do not speak the truth...
The issue of the intellectuals is a very serious one. The struggle between the authorities and the intellectuals is an eternal one [everywhere], but in Saudi Arabia, it [has been] . . . completely contained. There is no such struggle.


Danny Danon appointed Israel's next ambassador to the UN
Moran Azulay, YNet News, 14-8-2015

'The UN is an important stage at this time an I'm convinced Danny will fight to present the truth about Israel,' Netanyahu says.
Danon thanked Netanyahu "for the trust he has in me to represent Israel in the UN at such a challenging time. I will do everything to promote the State of Israel's just positions."

Danon has been a Knesset member since 2009 and participated in many hasbara missions over the past few years. He has been serving as the chairman of the World Likud for the past 9 years.
In addition, Danon served as an emissary for the Jewish Agency in Florida, where, among other things, he helped encourage aliyah and did hasbara in US universities.

Flashback: Likud Jockeying: Danny Danon
'Ideological Alternative' to Netanyahu
By Ari Yashar, Israel National News, 28-11-2014

Likud Central Committee head MK Danny Danon criticized Netanyahu on Friday morning in a meeting with Likud's "Nationalist Camp" faction leaders in Psagot, to the north of Jerusalem.
"I present an ideological and moral alternative to the path of Likud chairman and prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu," Danon said.
"The path of the prime minister is problematic," stressed Danon. "While he speaks 'right-wing' recently, in every process of his tenure he acts 'leftist.'"...

Danny Danon (born 8 May 1971) is an Israeli politician and a member of the Knesset for the Likud party, and served as the chairman of World Likud.
Ideological founders like Zeev Jabotinsky and Joseph Trumpeldor remain inspirational icons within the movement and likewise continue to inspire World Likud activities. World Likud aims to increase support for Zionism using its global branches. (Wikipedia)

MK Danon: The settlers are the pure Zionists of Israel today.
Arutz Sheva, Malkah Fleisher, 10/4/2010

Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria have found a friend in Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon.

In an interview with Israel National Radio's Yishai Fleisher Danon explained why he is dedicated to the cause.
"We were elected on a very clear platform to build and to settle the land," he said. "If the prime minister would have told the voters that we will not build in Judea and Samaria, he would not be the prime minister today, and I would not be in the Knesset today.
Likud members are sending a clear message to the prime minister: we support you, but you must stay loyal to the way, to the platform. Otherwise, you will have no support."
According to Danon, it is a matter of survival. "We have to be very strong now. ... We have to be very strong today, because we will face the issue of Jerusalem, settlement, borders… I can only imagine the amount of pressure that will be brought to bear upon us."
MK Danon urged the United States to relent on that pressure, in the name of democracy. "We want the American people to respect democracy in Israel, to respect the sovereignty of Israel, where we tell Jews they can build everywhere in the [land of Israel]."
For him, that right is not just a fundamental part of what Likud stands for, but a core Zionist value. "When you have Jewish homes on the ground, this is pure Zionism..."

Ultimately, Danon is optimistic about the future... "When I see the energy of the people, I know we will prevail.... That is why we are supporting the settlers who are the pure Zionists of Israel today."

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.


More insistence on rights
Baath Party Website 5-8-2015

Arab and Islamic nations celebrate every year the Jerusalem World Day which is considered to be a Day of resistance against the terrorism that is being practiced by the forces of hegemony, injustice and aggression, first of all the Israeli terrorism, with all its forms...
The Jerusalem World Day comes while the Arab and Islamic Nation is living a situation of laceration, dependency, internal conflicts and derailment from the central Palestinian cause.
The Israeli enemy wants the nation to be engaged with the dangers that are surrounding its countries and forget to deal with Israeli plans...
But, they did not and will not succeed in achieving their goals... The Resistance strategy is always more struggle, more objection, more readiness for all contingencies and more insistence on [justice]...
Palestine shall remain the central cause for Syria and for the Baath Arab Socialist Party. Syria, as asserted by the Regional Secretary of the BASP, President Bashar al-Assad, shall always remain with the resistance, that want to remove injustice and liberate the land.


Experts in civil war
Khalaf Al-Harbe, Saudi Gazette, 15-8-2015

The Arabs have accumulated vast experiences in waging civil wars, which no other nation in the world can be proud of.
The Arab countries, or more precisely conflicting factions in what was known as the Arab world, can easily give anyone expert advice on how to rekindle fires of sedition in a matter of minutes. They are quite capable of transforming the natural differences among people into open wars.
The Arabs can give thousands of reasons to make minor differences into devastating conflicts. They can give you good advice on how to spill blood.



Muammar Gaddafi (lynched), Qaradawi (fatwa: "kill Gaddafi"), Benghazi people ("We're no animals")


The Arabs have teachers specialized in spreading hatred. They have professional trainers in the art of spreading rumors and inciting people against each other. They have experienced teachers who are well versed in obliterating the noble values of patriotism and love from the hearts and minds of citizens.
How can you establish a dissident militia in a matter of five days? How can you set the stage for the creation of another rival militia so that the first will have enough reasons for its very existence?
This is the kind of expertise that the Arabs can offer to the world today. This is our contribution to the concept of globalization.

Most nations of the world have long ended civil wars and are now dedicating their time and effort to develop their economies and civilizations and work together for the progress and prosperity of their people.
Except us. We started our civil wars a little too late but have very quickly surpassed all those before us — who were specialized in slaughtering, skinning and destroying.
There is no imminent end to our wars after terrorism has shown its ugly face and has created more havoc and chaos.
Whereas other countries of the world produce professionals such as doctors, engineers and scientists, we have suicide bombers, propagandists, drug smugglers, hackers and experts skilled in doing many other dirty jobs.
We have specialized rumor mongers on the social media, inventors of dirty sectarian terminology on the Twitter and professors who dub anyone who disagree with them infidels.
We have advisors in betrayal, caretakers of mass funerals, directors of video clips showing slaughtering operations, manufacturers of explosive belts and diggers of collective graves.
What a miserable spot has become of the land once called "the Arab world".


New Arab order should make meritocracy its priority
Khaled Almaeena, Saudi Gazette Opinion, 17-8-2015

The Arab world is passing through its darkest phase in history. Even the most diehard optimist would find little to cheer about. Arab political pundits and newly self-appointed social media analysts have come up with many theories, mostly bizarre, for the predicament we are in. They blame everyone under the sun but have not bothered even to give a cursory glance at what has led us to this sorry situation.
Let’s be frank. All what has happened to us is of our own doing. Right from the so-called Arab independence movement through post independent stages, most Arab leaders failed their people as self-appointed generals, presidents for life and others were more focused on consolidating power through oppressive measures rather than uplifting their population.

Today there is almost no light at the end of the tunnel. The Arab Spring, which was supposed to usher hope, has engulfed us and thrown us in the dark recesses of a world that has turned into a tumultuous frenzy, while prompting some Arab states to take sterner measures to stifle dissenting voices.

Why are we not running the country? Because of wealthy capitalists? They use their money as tools of tyranny. Because of religious and regal leaders? What have they done but promoted slave ideologies and backward thinking. Shall we just allow unelected and privileged people to run our society into the ground while they soak in funds to the end of time? (Meritocracy party website)

Can we continue like this? The answer is an emphatic no! Arab states should take examples of other states where discipline was maintained but voices were heard.
Singapore and South Korea are but two examples that have shown there can be no progress without a free and responsible press. There can be no viable state if the leader does not lead from the front, implements good governance, demands accountability and transparency beginning with himself and leads the change against corruption.
The media should be viewed as a partner and the ruler should know that criticism would be constructive and can serve the state.

A new Arab order should make meritocracy its priority. We have been damaged by years of nepotism and corruption. We have been hindered by the inaction and the incompetency of those in charge. We cannot afford to procrastinate...
An atmosphere of trust and accountability should prevail for the state to progress, and in order to create trust we must put an end to the divisive ways practiced by a certain section to hold sway over society.
Women are an important segment of society and they should be allowed to play a leading role.
The voices of extremist and obscurantists should not be allowed to drown the voices of those who seek progress. Provincialism, tribalism and ethnic favoritism should be eradicated totally from the minds of those in power.

The Arab people are like their peers elsewhere, they want to live in peace and dignity.
In today’s world it is inevitable that everyone works to achieve peace and all are accorded dignity. The sooner our leaders realize this, the faster we will develop and progress.



Aleppo-Syria 2012: Islamist rebels, attacking the secular meritocracy


Meritocracy

The "most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes 'merit' in terms of tested competency and ability, and most likely, as measured by IQ or standardized achievement tests."
In government or other administration systems, meritocracy, in an administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration (such as business administration) wherein appointments and responsibilities are assigned to individuals based upon their "merits": intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or examinations. (they are chosen not because of birth, gender, ethnicity, religion or wealth.)
Meritocracy is not a democracy. There is no “decision by consensus”. While everyone does have a voice, some are listened to more than others. (Wikipedia info)


Asma Assad, meeting Syrian students (2012,2013,2014)


Lavrov: Ouster Precondition for Assad is Unacceptable
Al-Alam 18-8-2015

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed that Moscow does not agree to the precondition that calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside before any meaningful talks between parties to the Syria crisis and the subsequent peace process in the country.
On Monday, Lavrov stated that Russia's position "has not changed" on Syria and a solution to the conflict should come "without outside interference or any kinds of preconditions." The remarks came in response to the August 14 allegations by the head of the so-called Syrian National Coalition, Khaled Khoja, that Moscow is "not clinging to Bashar al-Assad."
Russian officials have on numerous occasions underscored that Moscow does not support Assad personally, but rather backs him as "the legitimately elected president" of Syria, Press TV reported.

On Friday, Lavrov told senior Syrian opposition leader Haytham Manna in the Russian capital city of Moscow that the anti-terror agenda now tops the priorities of all parties to the Syrian crisis, including the opposition groups.
Manna, for his part, voiced his support for Moscow’s political initiative to end the deadly conflict in Syria, saying that “a military solution cannot bring anything but violence.” He also urged all sides to contribute to the political process in Syria.

The Western-backed Geneva I and Geneva II peace conferences on Syria, held in June 2012 and February 2014 respectively, ended in total failure since foreign-sponsored opposition figures refused to discuss widespread terrorism in the country and persisted in demanding the ouster of the Syrian government as a precondition.


Iran remembers 1953 US-led coup against then Iran PM
Press TV, Aug 19, 2015

Iran is remembering the anniversary of the 1953 coup against the government of then democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq.
In August 1953, the British and American intelligence agencies initiated a coup by the Iranian military, setting off a series of events, including riots in the streets of the capital, Tehran, which led to the overthrow and arrest of Mosaddeq.
Mosaddeq, who was convicted of treason by a court martial, served three years in solitary confinement and then died under house arrest in exile in 1967.
His overthrow, which is still given as a reason for the Iranians' mistrust of the UK and the US, consolidated the Shah's rule for the following 26 years until the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which toppled the US-backed monarchy.

The Iranian premier had played a key role in the country’s 1951 movement that resulted in the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry, which had been mainly controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), now known as BP.
Experts say the 1953 coup, known as the 28 Mordad coup, was aimed at making sure the Iranian monarchy would safeguard the West's oil interests in the country.
Six decades after the notorious coup, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the first time published a document in August 2013 which confirmed Washington’s role in the coup d’état.
"The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," reads a brief segment from an internal CIA history.

Flashback: The devils game
Robert Dreyfuss 2005

For half a century the United States and many of its allies saw what I call the “Islamic right” as convenient partners in the Cold War. *** In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because they opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh. ***

By the end of the 1950s, rather than allying itself with the secular forces of progress in the Middle East and the Arab world, the United States found itself in league with Saudi Arabia’s Islamist legions.
Choosing Saudi Arabia over Nasser’s Egypt was probably the single biggest mistake the United States has ever made in the Middle East.

A second big mistake … occurred in the 1970s, when, at the height of the Cold War and the struggle for control of the Middle East, the United States either supported or acquiesced in the rapid growth of Islamic right in countries from Egypt to Afghanistan. In Egypt, Anwar Sadat brought the Muslim Brotherhood back to Egypt. In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.

Still another major mistake was the fantasy that Islam would penetrate the USSR and unravel the Soviet Union in Asia. It led to America’s support for the jihadists in Afghanistan.... The Afghan jihad spawned civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, gave rise to the Taliban, and got Osama bin Laden started on building Al Qaeda.

Would the Islamic right have existed without U.S. support? Of course. ... But there is no question that the virulence of the movement that we now confront — and which confronts many of the countries in the region, too, from Algeria to India and beyond—would have been significantly less had the United States made other choices...

(More info: Sleeping with the devil, by Washingtonsblog)

US foreign policy and radical Islamists,
Patrick Martin, World Socialist Website, 4-9-2014

ISIS is not an incomprehensible emanation of Satanic evil, as portrayed by the Obama administration and the American media. It is a product of the policies of the US government over a protracted period of time.
US administrations have sought to build up the most reactionary and backward Islamic fundamentalist forces in the Middle East for many decades.
Throughout the Cold War, Washington mobilized them against secular nationalist leaders viewed either as potential allies of the Soviet Union or as direct threats to the profits and property of American and European corporations.

The CIA financed and mobilized right-wing Iranian Islamists in support of the 1953 coup that ousted the liberal government of Mohammed Mossadegh, which had nationalized the largely British-owned oil industry.
The US cultivated similar forces in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to undermine the regime of Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, who nationalized the Suez Canal and sought military aid from the Soviet Union.
In 1977, the CIA backed the coup in Pakistan carried out by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who established a martial law regime based on Islamist fundamentalism that lasted until his death in 1988.
The security anchor of American policy in the Persian Gulf region, particularly after the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran, was an alliance with the monarchy in Saudi Arabia, which has long promoted the most reactionary forms of Islamic fundamentalism...
The state of Israel pursued a similar policy, promoting the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate in the occupied Palestinian territories as a rival to undermine the (pan-Arab) Palestine Liberation Organization of Yasser Arafat, which it viewed as the main enemy. Out of this effort would emerge Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Islamic fundamentalism became directly linked to terrorist violence through the US campaign of subversion beginning in the late 1970s against the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan. The CIA, working with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, recruited Islamic fundamentalists from all over the world, trained them in bomb-making and other terror tactics, and funneled them to the battlefield in Afghanistan. Prominent among these was the son of a Saudi construction multi-millionaire, Osama bin Laden...

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, carried out by a group of predominantly Saudi terrorists, the Bush administration declared its “war on terror” against the former US allies. However, this by no means signified a break with the Islamic fundamentalists, many now operating under the umbrella of Al Qaeda, as later events would show.
There remained a murky connection between US foreign policy and the radical Islamists, most notably in Iraq, Libya and Syria, three countries ruled by secular regimes that had largely suppressed the fundamentalist groups.

Salman Rushdie 2012: "To place the House of Saud on the Throne that Sits Over the Oil might well look like the greatest foreign policy error of the Western powers, because the Sauds had used their unlimited oil wealth to build schools (madrassas) to propagate the extremist, puritanical ideology of their beloved (and previously marginal) Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and as a result Wahhabism had grown from its tiny cult origins to overrun the Arab world. Its rise gave confidence and energy to other Islamic extremists."

So Wrong for So Long
Why neoconservatives are never right.
By Stephen M. Walt, foreignpolicy.com 21-8-2015

Over the past few weeks, proponents of the nuclear deal with Iran — from President Barack Obama on down — have marshaled a powerful attack on some of the deal’s most prominent opponents.
Specifically, they’ve been pointing out an indisputable fact: Many of the individuals and organizations that are most actively lobbying and speaking out against the deal helped dream up the idea of invading Iraq or worked hard to convince Congress and the American people to go along with the idea.
The logic of the pro-deal camp is simple: Given that the opponents were so catastrophically wrong about the Iraq War, no one should listen to their advice today.

I agree with this basic argument... Their earlier support for the Iraq War and their opposition to the Iran deal stem from the basic neoconservative worldview that informs their entire approach to foreign policy.
To be more specific, the problem isn’t that these people just happened to be embarrassingly wrong about Iraq... No, the real problem is that the neoconservative worldview is fundamentally flawed...

What are the main flaws that consistently lead neoconservatives astray?

For starters, neoconservatives think balance-of-power politics doesn’t really work in international affairs and that states are strongly inclined to “bandwagon” instead. In other words, they think weaker states are easy to bully and never stand up to powerful adversaries.
Their faulty logic follows that other states will do whatever Washington dictates provided we demonstrate how strong and tough we are.
This belief led them to conclude that toppling Saddam would send a powerful message and cause other states in the Middle East to kowtow to us. If we kept up the pressure, our vast military power would quickly transform the region into a sea of docile pro-American democracies...

The neoconservative worldview exaggerates the efficacy of military force and downplays the value of diplomacy.
Military force is an essential component of national power, of course, but neocons tend to see it as a magical tool that can accomplish all sorts of wonderful things (such as the creation of workable democracies) for which it is not really designed.
In reality, military force is a crude instrument whose effects are hard to foresee and one which almost always produces unintended consequences...

Neoconservatives are often surprisingly ignorant about the actual conditions of the countries whose politics and society they want to transform.
Hardly any neoconservatives knew very much about Iraq before the United States invaded — if they had, they might have reconsidered the whole scheme — and their characterizations of Iran today consist of scary caricatures bearing little resemblance to Iran’s complicated political and social reality.
In addition to flawed theories, in short, the neoconservative worldview depends on an inaccurate reading of the facts on the ground.

Last but not least, the neoconservatives’ prescriptions for U.S. foreign policy are perennially distorted by a strong attachment to Israel, which Max Boot (and others) have described as a “key tenet” of the entire movement.

Flashback: The Protocols - a Neocon Manifesto
by Simon Jones, Dissident Voice, August 21, 2003

What is this best-selling political tract of the 20th century?
'The Protocols' is a series of 24 mostly articulate, well-argued lectures outlining a plan for world capitalist domination, with sharp political and social analysis, lots of Machiavelli and a Marxian sophistication in its understanding of capitalism and historical processes.
Briefly, it outlines a plan of world conquest by first establishing world government by consent...
What immediately struck me was that with a little dusting off, abridging and updating, it could easily be the handbook of the neocons.
With the wonders of modern computers, you can download a free copy from the Internet, cleanse it of anti-Semitism by replacing "fellow Jews" with "neocons" and make sense of what's happening in the world today.

Every man aims at power
Pr-1-3. It must be noted that men with bad instincts are more in number than the good, and therefore the best results in governing them are attained by violence and terrorisation, and not by academic discussions. Every man aims at power, everyone would like to become a dictator if only he could, and rare indeed are the men who would not be willing to sacrifice the welfare of all for the sake of securing their own welfare.

No place for morality
Pr-1-11. The political has nothing in common with the moral. The ruler who is governed by the moral is not a skilled politician, and is therefore unstable on his throne. He who wishes to rule must have recourse both to cunning and to make-believe. Great national qualities, like frankness and honesty, are vices in politics, for they bring down rulers from their thrones more effectively and more certainly than the most powerful enemy.

Might Is Right
Pr-1-12. Our right lies in force. The word "right" is an abstract thought and proved by nothing. The word means no more than: Give me what I want in order that thereby I may have a proof that I am stronger than you.

The real enemies are the intellectuals
Pr-4-5. Then will the hour strike when, not for the sake of attaining the good, not even to win wealth, but solely out of hatred towards the privileged, the lower classes will follow our lead against our rivals for power, the intellectuals.


Ruhollah Khomeini:
Pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam

Khomeini: 'the supreme jurist aims to prevent dictatorship.'

Pure Muhammadan Islam and American Islam are a clear and unambiguous classification, which manifests in the political thought of Khomeini on Farvardin II, 1367 [March 22, 1981].
He states [..] that throughout the history of Islam, the amalgamation of the two views that are distinct from each other can be differentiated.
The first view emanates from the text of revelation while the second view stems from the interests of the oppressors, the arrogant and the tyrants.
The first one has been at the service of the downtrodden, the faithful and the mystics while the second has been at the service of the affluent, the wealth-accumulators and the swindlers.

The first is the authentic Islam that originates from the revelation and virtues.
The second is aconcocted Islam and the Islam of vices
, which through link with the arrogant in the international arena, particularly America, took a more ferocious shape and led to the oppression of the people of the world.
These two views have been always in conflict with each other, which has continued up to the present.

In his own words:
"The pure Muhammadan Islam is the Islam of the suffering indigent, the Islam of the barefooted, the Islam of the scourge of the despised ones of the bitter and disgraceful history of deprivation, the annihilator of modern capitalism and bloodthirsty communism, and the destroyer of the Islam of comfort and luxury: the American Islam."

He describes the American Islam in this manner:
“American Islam is the Islam of the arrogant and the indolent wealthy, the Islam of the hypocrites, and the Islam of the luxury-mongers and opportunists.”

American Islam is the Islam of the court-mullahs, of massacres and aggressions, and of the foolish sanctimonious ones, the Islam of money and gold, the Islam of deception, compromise and servitude, the Islam of the domination of the capitalists over the oppressed and barefooted. (www.imam-khomeini.com)


Syrian minister: government troops cooperating with Kurdish forces
By Dilxuaz Behlewi, Rudaw 21-8-2015

DAMASCUS, Syria - Military cooperation between Syrian government troops and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has been instrumental in pushing back Islamic State (ISIS) militants from the town of Hasaka in Syria’s northeast, a top Syrian official told Rudaw.
Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation, said it was that cooperation which effectively led to the ISIS defeat in many areas, including Hasaka.

ISIS militants attacked Hasaka earlier in June and recaptured several neighborhoods within days. The YPG said early this month that its forces had regained “complete control” of the city after an offensive lasting more than a month...
“The result of the cooperation was that we prevented Hasaka falling to ISIS,” Haidar said, adding that top-level coordination was needed for the operation.

Haidar heads a committee in the Syrian parliament that seeks to start a national dialogue among different groups. Haidar said the primary objective was to “confront terror.”
“There will be no political solution before terror is dealt with in the country which is threatening everyone at the moment,” the minister said.
“When terror is no longer an immediate national concern, then political process will find a way for talks,” he added.

The minister said Russia was supporting Syria both militarily and economically, and helping opposing groups reach a deal.
“Russia believes in a centralized government and army that confronts terror
,” he added, praising Moscow’s role.
He said that, according to the country’s constitution, Bashar al-Assad remains president of Syria and that any change to the political system will require a new constitution.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Zionist Lobby
By Gilad Atzmon, Veterans Today, 18-8-2015

The vastly growing popularity of Jeremy Corbyn amongst Brits can be easily explained.
Following decades of cultural Marxist, divisive Identiterian politics and Zionist-Neocon domination within the British Left, Corbyn brings along a refreshing ideological alternative. Corbyn seems to re-unite the Brits.
He cares for the weak. He opposes interventionist wars. He represents the return of the good old left as opposed to New Labour’s affinity with big money, choseness and exceptionalism.
He cares for the students and the youth. He thinks about the future and promises to undo the damage created by Blair and Cameron.
But as Britain sees the rise of a hugely popular ideological movement, many Jewish institutions see Corbyn as an arch enemy. They would prefer to see him gone and have used nearly every trick in the book to discredit him.

In the last few days we have noticed a tidal wave of Jewish institutional opposition to Corbyn.
First it was the Daily Mail that attempted to throw Zionist mud in the direction of the man who is destined to take over what is left out of the Labour party...
In the weekend the Jewish Chronicle (JC) outlined its problems with Corbyn while claiming to “speak for the vast majority of British Jews… expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.”
Apparently, on behalf of ‘the vast majority of British Jews,’ The JC wanted to know whether it is true that Corbyn donated money to Dier Yassin Remembered (DYR), an organisation that was founded to commemorate the massacre of an entire Palestinian village by right wing Jewish paramilitary fighters in 1948...
Corbyn was also asked to clarify his association with the Hamas, the Hezbollah and Palestinian cleric Raead Salah.
Disrespectfully and outrageously, in the open and on behalf of “the vast majority of British Jews”, the JC set an ultimatum to the most popular man in British politics.
If Mr Corbyn is not to be regarded from the day of his election as an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community, he has a number of questions which he must answer in full and immediately.”

Though I do not have any reason to believe that Corbyn has a cell of hatred in his body, I wouldn’t like to see him bowing to Jewish political pressure. What we need is a firm British leader dedicated to equality, justice, peace and British interests instead of just another Sabbos Goy and servant of the Lobby as well as big money.

Wikipedia info: Jeremy Bernard Corbyn (born 26 May 1949) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Islington North since 1983. A member of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Amnesty International, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Stop the War Coalition (of which he has been the national chair since 2001), Corbyn is currently a candidate in the 2015 Labour Party leadership election.

A self-described democratic socialist, Corbyn has advocated the renationalisation of public utilities and railways, combating corporate tax evasion and avoidance as an alternative to austerity, quantitative easing to fund infrastructure and renewable energy projects, and reversing cuts to the public sector and welfare made since 2010 by the government of David Cameron.
Although initially perceived as a fringe candidate in the 2015 leadership contest, Corbyn emerged at the head of the race, becoming the overwhelming leader in many opinion polls and gaining the support of the majority of trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party as well as the support of three non-affiliated trade unions.
Corbyn's platform has been criticised as unelectable by some senior Labour figures, including former leaders Neil Kinnock, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Don’t call Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite
Yasmin Alibhai Brown, The Independent, 16 August 2015

Jeremy Corbyn, who has visited Israel, the West Bank and Gaza nine times, calls for “robust discussion” on Israel’s siege of Gaza, the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the mistreatment of Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons. He says he’ll support an arms embargo on Israel and a ban on produce from West Bank settlements viewed as illegal under international law. As for the Balfour Declaration, it was “an extremely confused document which did not enjoy universal support in the cabinet of the time…” (Redress Information, 1-8-2015)

Is Jeremy Corbyn the enemy of Israel and British Jews? That is what the The Jewish Chronicle, some MPs and various sections of the media would have us believe.
It is an accusation that is both absurd and menacing.
The right, Blairites and hard Zionists have formed the most unholy of alliances to slay the reputation of the next likely leader of the Labour Party.
They thought he was a bit-part player, but he has unexpectedly became the front-runner; now every political trick in the book is being used in an attempt bring him down. I hope honest democrats see through the contemptible tactics. If Corbyn is an anti-Semite, I am a white supremacist...

What evidence have his detractors produced to “prove” that he is anti-Semitic? That he has appeared on Press TV, the Iranian-funded station? Is Gilligan therefore a Jew-hater? Of course not.
Next: Corbyn shared a platform with Carlos Latuff, the Brazilian-Arab cartoonist who condemned Israel’s oppressive policies in Palestine.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has declared Latuff anti-Semitic but Eddy Portnoy, writing in the Jewish daily Forward, claims he is a “furious” critic of the state of Israel, not an anti-Semite...
The overreactions of some extreme Zionists these days is tantamount to an attempt to censor all criticism of Israel’s political and military tactics. And the position has hardened since British public opinion has softened towards Palestinians...
Most depressing of all is the collusion between the powerful right and Zionists. They seem determined to crush all alternatives to neoliberal economics and Western hegemony.



Carlos Latuff cartoons


Rivlin: Israel has 'right' to settle in West Bank
AFP|YNet news, 25-8-2015

President Reuven Rivlin said during talks with settler leaders on Monday that Israel had a "right" to build settlements in the West Bank, his office said in a statement.
"I love the land of Israel with all my heart. I have never and will never give up on this land. For me, our right to this land is not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism," Rivlin said,
For Rivlin the "land of Israel" includes the West Bank, where Jewish settlements are considered illegal under international law.

"We must not give anyone the sense that we are in any doubt about our right to our land.
For me, the settlement of the land of Israel is an expression of that right, our historical right, our national right," Rivlin said.
His comments come at a time of heightened tension between Israel and the Palestinians

Flashback - Rivlin: "Oslo is dead"
By Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post, 28-10-2012

“Today, almost 20 years after Oslo, we can see clearly that the idea of separating the [Israeli and Palestinian] nations failed,” Likud MK Reuven Rivlin said.
According to the Knesset speaker, those who still believe in two states for two nations are in denial about current realities. He added that there can be only one state between Jordan and the Mediterranean, which will be Jewish [..] and have a Jewish majority.
“Since my childhood, in 1948, we have been able to deal with the demographic threat, but in the ridiculous attempts to split the land we have failed time and again,” he said.
All of the speakers following Rivlin denounced his speech, except for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.. He mentioned that while Israel “does not want to rule [the Palestinians] and we do not want them to rule us, in the past 17 years [since the Oslo Accords], any territories we left were captured by Iran’s messengers.”

Rivlin in Itamar: Zionism is a policy of settlement
By Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post 31-8-2011

"The entire Land of Israel belongs to us,” Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin declared, during a visit to Itamar in Samaria in honor of the new school year.
“Zionism is a policy of settlement,” Rivlin explained, calling Itamar [..] “an example for all Jews who return to their homeland.”
Rivlin said that the last time he visited Itamar, it was with prime minister Ariel Sharon, who suggested connecting settlements in Samaria to the Jordan Valley, “out of a strategic way of thinking that included territorial depth and continuity.”
“I believe with complete faith and have never changed my opinion that the Land of Israel is entirely ours,” Rivlin said.

Claims to supremacism over other people are frankly absurd
Juan Cole, 25-8-2015

People who say they love the fatherland with all their heart and that its borders extend beyond the present map should be viewed with suspicion. Such claims to supremacism over other people and their territory are frankly absurd, and doomed to the dustbin of history...
The question is whether Rivlin’s dream of subjecting the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank to permanent Israeli annexation, and his placing of this project at the center of the Zionist project, heralds a permanent split between Jewish Americans and the Likud government of Israel. Because most American Jews don’t approve of this kind of annexationist project.

Professor R. T. France: Israel in the time of Jesus

Modern readers of the NT often know little about the geopolitical world of first-century Palestine.
It is commonly assumed that “the Jews” were an undifferentiated community living amicably in the part of the world we now call “the Holy Land”, united in their resentment of the political imposition of Roman rule to which all were equally subject.
But, R. T. France says, “this is a gross distortion of the historical and cultural reality.”
Admitting that the following is a drastic oversimplification but hoping that it’s not a complete caricature, Professor France summarizes some differences:

1.Racially the area of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel (Galilee) had, ever since the Assyrian conquest in the eighth century B.C., a more mixed population. Important cities as Tiberias and Sepphoris were Hellenistic centers.
2.Geographically Galilee was separated from Judea by the non-Jewish territory of Samaria, and from Perea in the southeast by the Hellenistic settlements of Decapolis.
Jews despised the Samaritans so much that when they were walking to Galilee from Judea, they would go out of their way to cross over to the east side of the Jordan River.
3.Politically Galilee had been under separate administration from Judea during almost all its history since the tenth century B.C., while Judea and Samaria had since A.D. 6 been under the direct rule of a Roman prefect.
4.Culturally Judeans despised their northern neighbors as country cousins, their lack of Jewish sophistication being compounded by their greater openness to Hellenistic influence. Religiously the Judean opinion was that Galileans were lax in their observance of proper ritual.
5.Linguistically Galileans spoke a distinctive form of Aramaic.

A Jewish Galilean in first-century Jerusalem was not among his own people; he was as much a foreigner as an Irishman in London or a Texan in New York. His accent would immediately mark him out as “not one of us,” and all the communal prejudice of the supposedly superior culture of the capital city (Jerusalem) would stand against him...


Russia, Egypt support forming anti-ISIS coalition with Syria
Russia Today, 26 Aug, 2015

Russia and Egypt support the creation of a broad anti-terrorist coalition, which would include Syria, to fight Islamic State militants, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a joint media conference with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel el-Sisi.
We underline the fundamental importance of the formation of a broad anti-terrorist front involving key international players and regional countries, including Syria,” Putin said on Wednesday.
“We have common views on the need to intensify the fight against international terrorism, which is relevant, considering the aggressive ambitions of radical structures, particularly the so-called Islamic State.”
“Every time we meet, the Egyptian people hope to see improvements in the cooperation between us and Russia in different fields, including the economy, but also the fight against terror in a region suffering from terrorism,” Sisi said at the media conference. “It has an impact on our region’s stability and security. Not just in some countries, but in the entire region and possibly the whole world.”

At their third meeting this year, Putin reiterated Russia’s commitment to include Egypt in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) free trade zone. He repeated that the two countries intend to exclude the US dollar and use their own national currencies to settle accounts in bilateral trade.
“We agreed to jointly foster efforts in order to weaken the impact of external factors and bring the turnover of goods to a sustainable growth trajectory. Practicable establishment of a free trade zone between the EAEU and Egypt, the use of national currencies in mutual settlements, and promotion of investment cooperation are among the specific steps for the incentivization of the economy,” Putin said...
In February, Putin and Sisi signed several agreements under which Russia committed to help Egypt build a new nuclear power industry.


Bashar al-Assad: Russia’s policy is based on principles
Syria Times, 26-8-2015

Russia’s policy is based on principles and growing more so, and therefore when the Russian Foreign Minister makes several statements and other officials make statements in the same context, it becomes obvious that Russia’s policy is concrete.
The President asserted that Russia doesn’t support individuals or a specific president, saying that this would be unacceptable and would constitute interference in internal affairs; rather Russia supports specific principles which are the sovereignty of state and people.

On Russian efforts now that Geneva 3 is looming, President al-Assad said “we have great trust in the Russians, and they proved throughout this crisis since four years ago that they are honest and transparent with us in relations and that they are principled. These are important points.
So, when they meet various sides, we don’t feel concern that these sides might distort the true image for the Russians. The Russians have close relations with Syria and are capable of finding out about all that is happening accurately. We believe the goal of the Russians is to bring political sides towards dialogue to cut off calls for war.
“This is the goal, but in the end there won’t be an agreement over anything unless we Syrians sit with each other and hold dialogue with each other.
It won’t be the Russians who impose any solution, so we encourage them to meet all forces and we are relieved when a Russian official meets any figure, without exception.”

On the principles that set Syria’s position regarding any initiative, President al-Assad said that first among those is Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the decision of the Syrian people, which means that there can be no dictations from any side and any decision must be purely Syrian...
Regarding some proposals that suggest things like revising the constitution or holding elections under international supervision, he said that things like revising the constitution aren’t a problem as long as they result from a Syrian decision and from national dialogue and accord, but elections under international supervision are unacceptable as they constitute interference in sovereignty, adding “which international side is authorized to give us a certificate of good behavior? We don’t accept that.”

On how Syria can be a part of a coalition to fight terrorism alongside those it accuses of supporting terrorism, President al-Assad said that politics are about achieving goals, and goals must be in the interest of the Syrian people, so any alliance or act or step or dialogue that leads to stopping the shedding of Syrian blood must be a priority and must be pursued without hesitation.
“What concerns us is the result on the ground. Logically, as you said, it’s impossible for states that supported terrorism to fight terrorism, but there remains a slight chance that those states want to atone or realized that they were moving in the wrong direction, or maybe they have purely self-serving reasons and are worried over terrorism spreading to their countries, so they decided to fight terrorism. So, there is no objection.
What matters is to manage to form an alliance that fights terrorism. The Syrian Foreign Minister said this would be a miracle… but what if it happened? Would we reject it? Of course we won’t reject it, we would pursue it...”


The Case for Pragmatism
By Robert Parry, ICH, August 27, 2015

Since American neocons emerged in the 1980s, they have pushed an aggressive “regime change” strategy that has left bloody chaos in their wake. The cumulative impact, including Mideast refugees flooding Europe and overuse of sanctions, is now contributing to a global economic crisis.

Crashing global stock markets are a reminder about the interdependence of today’s world economy and a wake-up call to those who think that the neocon-driven ideology of endless chaos doesn’t carry a prohibitively high price.
The hard truth is that there is a limit to the amount of neocon-induced trouble that the planet can absorb without major dislocations of the international economic system...
The problem is that America’s neocons and their liberal interventionist sidekicks continue to put their ideological priorities ahead of what’s good for the average person on earth...
The neocon-wars have sent waves of refugees crashing into other Mideast countries and into Europe where the European Union was already stumbling economically, still trying to recover from Wall Street’s 2007-08 financial crisis.
After tasting the bitter medicine of austerity for years, Europeans now find their fairly generous welfare systems stretched to the breaking point by refugees seeking asylum...

The destructive strategies are going global. They are threatening the economic well-being of the entire planet – taking their place along with other misguided theories such as “free-market” absolutism and “austerity” in the face of recessions.

So what can be done? As dark as the gathering economic storm may be, one silver lining could be that Americans and other Westerners will finally begin pushing back against the powerful neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist fellow-travelers.
Perhaps the Iranian nuclear deal could become a model for pragmatic approaches to other international crises.
The core of this pragmatism would be that one doesn’t have to love or even like the leadership of another country to cooperate on global concerns, whether they are economic, geopolitical or environmental.
There also should be a recognition that no country has all the answers or a monopoly on morality. American self-righteousness is not only hypocritical, but it is self-defeating, requiring the endless expenditure of blood and treasure to act as self-appointed global “policeman” whether the world wants it or not.

If pragmatism replaced exceptionalism as the focus of U.S. international relations, there would be some obvious moves that could reduce world tensions and alleviate some of the economic dislocations that are contributing to the deepening economic crisis.
International pragmatism, including working with adversaries, may be the only way to prevent the swelling geopolitical pressures from building into a devastating financial crash.


Iran ready to boost science diplomacy
Press TV, Aug 28, 2015

The Iranian minister of science, research and technology says the Islamic Republic is ready to boost “science diplomacy” with other countries following the removal of anti-Iran sanctions with the implementation of an agreement between the country and the P5+1.

Mohammad Farhadi said in an interview with IRNA on Thursday night that Iran has, over the past few months, made arrangements for cooperation with a number of regional and European universities.
He said that among the priorities of his ministry in the post-sanctions era is shoring up scientific collaboration with other countries through professor and student exchange programs, holding joint scientific courses, and if necessary, establishing foreign university branches in Iran, including in free zones.
The Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology seeks to stand on top in the region when it comes to scientific and technological progress, he said.

Over the past few years, a number of Iranian universities have been subjected to Western sanctions over the allegation that they are involved in Iran’s nuclear program.
A number of Western governments, including Canada, have also ordered certain scientific journals of their respective countries not to publish articles authored by Iranian researchers and scientists.


Vladimir Putin: Russian-Chinese ties reach peak
TASS, September 01, 2015

Ahead of his upcoming visit to China to participate in celebrations dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Victory in World War II and Victory in the War against Japan, Russian President Vladimir Putin was interviewd by Russia's TASS and China's Xinhua news agencies.

- This year marks 70 years since the victory over Nazism in World War II... After Xi Jinping’s spring visit to Moscow to attend the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, you will make a visit to Beijing to attend the grand military parade marking the victory in the War of Resistance against the Japanese invaders.
What do you think is the importance today of commemorating the victory in WWII and those historic events?

- For Russia and China this Victory anniversary has a special significance. The Soviet Union achieved it through enormous sacrifice. The people of China also bore great losses...
Our two countries were allies in the fight against Nazism and Japanese militarism and bore the brunt of the aggression, and they not only withstood this battle, but won it, liberating enslaved peoples and bringing peace to the planet...
Our common historical memory serve as a strong foundation for present-day relations between Russia and China.

Today, both in Europe and in Asia, we witness the attempts to falsify the history of World War II, to promote loose and distorted interpretations of the events that are not based on facts, particularly events of the pre-war and post-war periods.
Efforts by certain countries to glorify and exonerate war criminals and their henchmen are an outrageous flouting of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. This is an outright insult to the memory of millions who fell in the war. The goal of such historical speculations is obvious: they are used in shady geopolitical games with the purpose of sowing feud between countries and peoples.

Russia and China maintain similar views on the causes, history and results of World War II.
For our peoples its memory and its lessons are sacred. This tragic past is an appeal to our common responsibility for the fate of the world, to the realisation of the terrible consequences a destructive ideology of personal exclusiveness and all-permissiveness could lead to.

These are the ideas that Nazism and militarism thrived on. It is our duty to prevent their revival and spreading.
Therefore, it is extremely important that our two countries are united in their striving to further preserve historical truth and defend our common Victory.

- In the past years, the situation in the world has been full of dramatic developments and changes, certain tendencies being rather alarming. How do you see relations between Moscow and Beijing in the current international situation?

- Unfortunately, the international situation is growing increasingly unpredictable. The creation of a new polycentric model is accompanied by growing regional and global instability. The main reason for such a tense and complicated situation is the deficit of attempts to reach compromise.

Inter-civilizational and inter-religious controversies fail to reach a stable solution...
Among the endemic problems is the persistent desire of certain states to retain their dominance in global affairs at any cost.
While declaring norms of democracy, supremacy of law and human rights in their own countries, they ignore the same on the international arena, actually denouncing the principle of sovereign equality of all states laid down in the UN Charter.
In these complicated conditions, Russian-Chinese cooperation takes on a new meaning in terms of maintaining and strengthening global and regional stability and security and finding effective response to global challenges.

Russian-Chinese ties have now probably reached a peak in their entire history and continue developing.
The partnership between Russia and China is based on sincere friendship and sympathy between our peoples, on deep respect and trust, consideration for each other’s key interests and commitment to make our countries flourish.
It is in this vein that we work together in the UN, the G20, as well as within BRICS and the SCO, which have successfully held their summits in Ufa this July.
The Russia-China connection played an important part in resolving such acute issues as the withdrawal of chemical weapons from Syria and an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program...


Lavrov: The Syrian army is the most effective force in fighting terrorism
Syrian Arab News Agency, 1 September 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the Syrian army is the most effective force on the ground in fighting terrorism.
The international coalition against the terrorist organization of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will not be effective with Syria not being part of it, said Lavrov in a speech addressing the students and teachers of Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Tuesday.
He dismissed the calls for President Bashar al-Assad’s departure as a precondition for embarking on the fight against terrorism as “harmful” and “unrealistic”, calling for them to be stopped.
“President al-Assad who was elected by his people is still a completely legitimate president regardless of the Western statements,” said Lavrov.

He referred to the Russian President’s initiative on unifying the efforts of all the sides against ISIS and the other terrorist organizations, noting that Russia made it clear to all the countries that are aware of the ISIS threat that they should coordinate with the Syrian army towards more effectiveness in fighting terrorism.
This, Lavrov said, requires that all forces be unified and all other matters be put on the shelf for some time later.
“We look at the reactions of the Western and Gulf states and other countries and we see some there who are getting it,” he added.

An obscene work... a distortion of Islam
Saudi Arabia's top cleric on Iran film 'Muhammad'
Ahram online, Wednesday 2 Sep 2015


Muhammad (2015)
Saudi Arabia's top cleric hit out at Iranian film "Muhammad" on Wednesday describing its portrayal of the prophet's childhood as a "hostile act" and a "distortion" of Islam.
Iran's most expensive movie, which opened nationwide in the Shia Islamic republic last week, depicts the prophet on screen, an act that is prohibited in Sunni Islam.
"This is an obscene work... It is a distortion of Islam," Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh told Al-Hayat newspaper. "It is a hostile act against Islam." "This is a mockery of the prophet and a degradation of his status," he said.

Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to its two holiest sites, are regional rivals and frequently accuse each other of seeking to destabilise the Middle East.
The Mecca-based Muslim World League also condemned the movie, insisting that portraying the prophet is prohibited.
The league's secretary general Abdullah al-Turki urged Tehran to "suspend and prevent the screening of the movie" and called on Muslims to boycott it.

Directed by Majid Majidi, the 171-minute film cost around $40 million (36 million euros), partly funded by the state, and took more than seven years to complete.
Majidi says the aim of his work, the first part of a trilogy, is to reclaim the rightful image of Islam, which he said extremists have distorted.

Muhammad, the Messenger of God, which is the first part of Iran’s big-budget trilogy on the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), premiered in cinemas across Iran on August 26, and attracted a large number of audiences.
A number of internationally-acclaimed professionals, including Academy Award winning visual effects supervisor and filmmaker Scott E. Anderson, three-time Oscar-winning Italian director of photography Vittorio Storaro and renowned Croat production designer Milijen Kreka Kljakovic collaborated in making the film.
Academy Award-winning Indian music composer Allah-Rakha Rahman has written music for the movie. (The Iran Project)


Our beloved lady:
Exploring Egypt's fascination with the Virgin Mary
Dina Ezzat, Ahram online, Friday 28 Aug 2015

The festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which took place on Saturday 15 August, received unprecedented recognition in the public sphere in Egypt.
A number of presenters on Egyptian radio talk-shows were making references to the “feast of the Virgin Mary” and sending their regards “not just to the Christians of Egypt but to all of us Egyptians who hold Sitana Mariam [Our Lady Mary] to be the holiest of the women of the world.”
It is true that the obvious Biblical reference of: “Blessed thou among women, and blessed the fruit of thy womb” was not in use. However, the Quranic equivalent of: “The angels said, 'Oh Mary! God has chosen you and purified you, chosen you above the women of all nations,” was heard.

The predominant Islamic school of thought does not permit the portrayal of the prophets and of holy figures mentioned in the Quran... But none of this comes to the mind of almost any Egyptian when the name 'the Virgin Mary' is mentioned.

"The only thing that people think of is this image of the soft-featured and exceptionally kind mother that suffered for the love of her son and for the love of God – a pure lady that was chosen by God for an exceptional role and an exceptional gift,” said Gamil Chafik, a prominent painter.
The very fact that the portrayal of the Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ is prohibited becomes irrelevant, in reality if not in principle, as the average Egyptian recalls the dominant portrayal of this graceful mother holding her holy newborn son,” Chafik said.

“For all Egyptians, faith aside, the Virgin Mary is what we could call the ultimate mother; she symbolises motherhood in its purest and most graceful sense, and it is because of this that women turn to her when they wish to be mothers,” said Naim Sabry, a novelist.
According to Sabry, “in the collective Egyptian consciousness, the Virgin Mary is the holy equivalent of Isis and baby Jesus that of Horus; this is why it is very easy for all Egyptians to relate with love as much as with faith to the Virgin Mary.”

According to anthropologist Reem Saad, the very concept of pursuing the help of holy figures is deeply rooted in popular Egyptian culture. “It is part of the folk spirituality in a sense and it is shared by Christians and Muslims and it takes precedence in times of distress both at the individual and the collective levels in a variety of ways,” said Saad.
Psychiatrist Ehab El-Kharrat sees no hidden taste for Egyptian feminism behind this perception.
“In the Egyptian mindset, the Virgin Mary is not ‘a woman’ but rather ‘the mother,’” El-Kharrat said.

Foreign powers behind crisis in Syria: UN
Press TV, 3-9-2015

Dr. Moath Safwat, Wahhabi cleric: ‘Go to Ragga, Aleppo, Turkey or go to the desert’ to ‘clear the way for the mujahideen'... (17-10-2013)
"The war [in Syria] is increasingly driven by international and regional powers, primarily in accordance with their respective geostrategic interests," the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in its latest report published on Thursday.
The report is based on 355 interviews as well as medical records, photographs and satellite imagery, documented murders, rapes and abductions committed across Syria between January and July 2015.
The document warned that the Takfiri Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group has expanded its terror campaign in the central and southern parts of Syria, saying, "A resonant cry for peace and accountability rings out.”
The report expressed concerns about “an alarming exacerbation of the sectarian dimension, instigated by the intervention of foreign" militants and extremist elements.

The UN commission of inquiry, led by Paulo Pinheiro, further called on the international community to allow in more Syrian refugees, emphasizing that negligence of the Syrians is causing a refugee crisis in Europe. The panel demanded "expanded resettlement, humanitarian admission, flexible visa policies, family reunification, or academic and sponsorship schemes."

The Syrian government has repeatedly called on countries supporting and funding terrorists, particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, to stop their hostile practice against the Syrian people.
The UN says the militancy has displaced over 7.2 million Syrians internally, and compelled over four million others to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon.

Killing Hope

Is the United States a force for democracy? In this classic and unique volume that answers this question, William Blum serves up a forensic overview of U.S. foreign policy spanning sixty years

Blum's central thesis is that the US government, primarily through the CIA and military, has inflicted suffering, death, and oppression on people around the world whose only crime was to try to govern themselves without interference from Washington.
From 1943 to 2003, every US president has been complicit in moral atrocities that, if they were undertaken by an enemy state against the US or one of its clients, would almost certainly have resulted in a full military siege and international condemnation... (source)

EU refugee crisis ‘absolutely expected’ – Putin
Russia Today, 4-9-2015

Russia has frequently warned of major problems which Europe would face as a result of Western policies in the Middle East and North Africa and jihadist groups terrorizing people, so the current refugee crisis in the EU doesn’t come as a surprise, said the President of Russia.

“I think the crisis was absolutely expected,” President Vladimir Putin told journalists at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
“We in Russia, and me personally a few years ago, said it straight that pervasive problems would emerge, if our so-called Western partners continue maintaining their flawed ... foreign policy...” said Putin.

According to the Russian president, the main flaw of Western foreign policy is the imposition of their own standards worldwide without taking into account the historical, religious, national and cultural characteristics of particular regions.
The only way to reverse the refugee flow streaming into Europe is to help people resolve problems at home. And the first step should be by creating a common and united front against jihadist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and fighting them at their core.

“We really want to form some kind of an international coalition, therefore we conduct consultations with our US partners,” Putin said, noting that he spoke about it with President Obama.
However it is premature to discuss “direct” Russian involvement in military actions against ISIS, needless to say joining the US-led coalition, as Moscow is currently considering “other options,” said Putin.

The issue of rebuilding local economies and social spheres to convince terrified people to move back would only arise after terrorism is rooted out, Russian President said.
But international support for rebuilding the statehood of the countries which have suffered at the hand of ISIS should only occur with full respect for history, culture and local traditions.
“If we act unilaterally and argue about the quasi-democratic principles and procedures for certain areas, that will lead us to an even greater impasse,” Putin concluded.

Changing US Middle East policy?
Gareth Porter, Al-Ahram Weekly, 3-9-2015

If and when the Iran nuclear agreement gets through the US Congress, many people in Washington hope that US President Barack Obama will articulate a more realistic strategy for the Middle East than what we have heard from his administration in the past.

High Hopes

"What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time."
John F. Kennedy, American University 10-6-1963

If there was ever an appropriate moment for Obama to articulate an overarching post-agreement policy vision, one that integrated the Iran nuclear agreement into a broader strategy for dealing with a Middle East at war, it was his speech at the American University in Washington on 5 August. The time and place for the speech were chosen in explicit acknowledgement of then-US President John F. Kennedy’s speech at that same university 52 years earlier. In his speech, Kennedy offered a transformation of US policy toward the Soviet Union and the Cold War from one of confrontation to negotiation.

But instead of using the occasion to explain how US diplomacy might play a transformational role in the Middle East, Obama limited his speech to defending the Vienna agreement in the narrowest of terms.
Obama chose not to point out that Iran’s role in the region since 2013 has not been to support terrorism but to support the primary forces fighting against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.
Nor did he correct the falsehood that it was Iran that has destabilised Yemen, rather than Saudi Arabia’s air war and support for sectarian forces there.
Instead, Obama relied on the argument that the situation of alleged Iranian destabilisation would be worse if the agreement was defeated.

In an interview with US National Public Radio two days later, Obama suggested that things could improve if Iran changed its ways:
“It is possible that as a consequence of this engagement, that as a consequence of Iran being able to recognise that what’s happening in Syria, for example, is leading to extremism that threatens their own state and not just the United States, that some convergence of interests begins to lead to conversations between, for example, Saudi Arabia and Iran, that Iran starts making different decisions that are less offensive to its neighbours, that it tones down the rhetoric in terms of its virulent opposition to Israel. And, you know, that’s something that we should welcome.”

Both of those interviews were marked by a deliberate avoidance of any explicit admission that the United States might actually want to make any political-diplomatic moves toward cooperation with Iran.
As presented by Obama, the most his administration would do is to lecture Iran on what it needed to do to correct its misbehaviour...
Obama and senior administration officials have repeated many times in the past two years the mantra that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and that its regional role is destabilising.


Zionism & Civil Rights
By Lawrence Davidson, Consortium News, 6-9-2015

The insistence that Israel is somehow the national embodiment of the Jewish people has always been dangerous. This is so because it tied a diverse group spread over the globe to the apron strings of a single political entity and its ideology (Zionism).
Thus identified, the Jews were allegedly what a bunch of Zionist ideologues said they were — and were also supposedly exemplified by the consistently unsavory practices of the Israeli state.


Hebron message 2012,2015,2014: zionism = occupation

The Zionists tried to force the Jews into this Procrustean bed through the monopolization of elite Jewish organizations and the emotional blackmail of those who might have dissenting views.
The mantra here was that if a Jewish person had disagreements with Israel, he or she should express them behind closed doors and never in public. Behind closed doors the dissenter could be contained. However, if he or she went public with their differences, they undercut the myth of Jewish community solidarity with Israel.
To go public in this fashion was a mortal sin, and one risked being shamed within one’s community. Those who persisted were labeled “self-hating” traitors.
It is a long-standing effort at censorship...

It was inevitable that the Zionist requirement of public silence would get harder to enforce the more outrageous the behavior of Israel’s political leadership became.
On the American scene, the combination of the brazen intrusion of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into U.S. politics and the warmongering position on Iran taken by Jewish organizations openly allied to Israel seems to have been the tipping point.
The combined adamance of this Zionist front has forced American Jewish members of Congress to make a choice, and do so publicly.
Those who have chosen, against the wishes of the Israeli government, to support the Iran nuclear agreement [..] are now treated to the same degree of defamation as those Jews called “self-haters.”

The tone of the edicts coming out of Israel both past and present, and then transmitted by elite Jewish-Zionist organizations down the line to the synagogues and community centers in the United States, has never been civil.
Israel’s self-righteous position has always been that it has an unquestionable right to tell American Jewry when to support or not support their own (that is U.S.) national interests.

What does this mean for the future of U.S.- Israeli relations?
One thing is for sure, the abrasive Zionist modus operandi will not change. It is built in to the historical character of both their ideology and Israeli culture.
The real questions lie on the American side of the equation. For instance, will American politicians who have belatedly become uneasy with Israeli behavior come to understand that what they face is a fundamental difference in worldview?

Americans who support civil and human rights have no more in common with Israel and its culture than they do with xenophobic fanatics of the Republican Right. They just have to accept that fact and, on the basis of that awareness, take a public stand.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.


Cameron to urge military action against Assad and ISIS in Syria
Russia Today, 6 Sep, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron is pressing for military strikes against Islamic State in Syria within a month, according to senior sources.
Chancellor George Osborne seemed to indicate the government is indeed planning military action in Syria.
“We’ve got to defeat these criminal gangs who trade in human misery and risk people’s lives and kill people,” he said.
“You’ve got to deal with the problem at source, which is this evil Assad regime and the [ISIS] terrorists.”

British "political hypocrisy" and the country's interference in Syria's affairs was condemned by Syria's foreign ministry, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Sunday.
Damascus has sent two letters to the UN, accusing the British government of "colonialist experience" and supporting terrorist organizations in Syria.

Flashback 2011-2012


anti-gaddafi coalition: zionists, al-qaeda and muslim brotherhood

On 21 February 2011 Yusuf al-Qaradawi (spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood) 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!'


Bernhard-Henri Levy (zionist): "Gaddafi was an enemy of Israel.."

Moscow says support for Syria remains unchanged
Syrian Arab News Agency, 7 September 2015

Moscow, SANA - Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova reiterated Russia’s firm stance about the crisis in Syria.
Commenting on media reports about an alleged change in Russia’s approach to the crisis in Syria, Zakharova said that Russia is not involved in appointing or unseating presidents in other countries, including Syria.
She said that Russia had repeatedly called for resolving the crisis in Syria and for an unconditional implementation of Geneva communiqué of June 30th, 2012 and adherence to the international law, including respecting the states’ sovereignty.

“The blatant interference of some Western countries in the affairs of Middle East states led to an unstable region close to the European continent and multiplied the risks of terrorism and extremism”, Zakharova added.
She pointed out that thousands of refugees are scrambling towards European countries escaping from their turbulent countries, particularly from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan.

Zakharova affirmed last Thursday that Russia will continue its support for Syria in its battle against terrorism.


Arab schools call for 'educational intifada'
Hassan Shaalan, YNet News, 7-9-2015

Arab schools in Israel went on strike on Monday morning in solidarity with Christian schools that have been on strike since September 1 in protest of budget cuts to education in their sector.
The strike was announced by the National Arab Parents Association and the National Committee for the Heads of the Arab Local Authorities in Israel.

"We declared a strike in all Arab schools to protest the budget cuts and the inequality and disrespectful treatment of schools in the (Christian) sector," said the head of the Arab Parents Association, Attorney Fuad Sultani.
"33,000 (Christian) students have yet to begin the school year, so we decided to put half a million Arab students on strike as well as a show of support and solidarity." Sultani went on to say that, "We won't allow the government to continue its discriminating and racist policy against our children, who have been suffering along with the entire sector from ongoing neglect. It is time to put an end to that. I think it's time for an 'educational intifada.'"

Christian schools welcomed the Arab sector's move, noting: "We are determined not to resume school until the government meets our demands."
According to a headmaster of a Christian school in Shefa-'Amr, primary schools in the sector were "receiving a very small budget compared to state schools and ultra-Orthodox schools. They prevent us from participating in any of the new reforms, withholding training for our teachers. We're asking for help so we can get what we deserve, like the other students in Israel."

Bashar al-Assad: "Go back to the principles of the French Revolution
that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality."

The choice is between Assad and the Islamic State
by Diana Johnstone, CounterPunch, 7-9-2015

Western leaders share major responsibility for making much of the world unfit for normal human habitation. And so far, they are getting away with it.

French political leaders have championed “regime change” in Libya and Syria on the tacit assumption that civil war would be better for the people of those countries than living under a “dictatorship”.
In practice, however, most people can get along better without a vote than without a roof over their heads. Or without their heads.

The situation in the Middle East is critical. Armed by leftover U.S. military equipment in Iraq, enriched by illicit oil sales, its ranks swollen by young Jihadis from all over the world, the Islamic State threatens the people of Lebanon and Jordan, already struggling to take care of masses of refugees from Palestine, Iraq and now Syria. Fear of the decapitating Islamic fanatics is inciting more and more people to risk everything in order to get to safety in Europe.

The only force that can stop the Islamic State from expanding its fanatic rule over all of Mesopotamia and beyond is the Syrian State led by Bashar al Assad.
The choice is not between Assad and “Western democracy”. The choice is between Assad and the Islamic State. But Western leaders have still not fully dropped their demented cry: “Assad must go!”

The current refugee crisis in Europe is the inevitable, foreseeable, predicted result of Western policy in the Middle East and North Africa.
Gaddafi’s Libya was the wall that kept hundreds of thousands of Africans from migrating illegally to Europe, not only by police methods but even more effectively by offering them development at home and decently paid jobs in Libya.
Now Libya is the source both of economic migrants and of refugees from Libya itself, as well as from other lands of desperation.

The refugee crisis should be seen as the warning signal that the United States and its NATO allies – especially Britain and France – are bringing the world to a state of chaos that is going to keep spreading and that is approaching a point of no return.
It is quick and easy to break things. Putting them back together may be impossible. Civilization itself may be more fragile than it seems.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book, Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton, will be published by CounterPunch in September 2015.

Gaddafi: Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations

Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.

"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin. Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome. They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart."

Bye-Bye Syria: The Globalist Destruction of a Nation State - Patrick Henningsen, Infowars.com July 10, 2012

In order to ensure regional destabilization and the presence of the ‘international community’ – and more importantly for the western allied military and economic forces – the elimination of a strong secular nation-state in the Middle East, the process of Balkanization, must occur....

In similar fashion to the French Mandate of Syria in 1921, Western power brokers will aim to divide Syria along both ethnic and religious lines.
The Assad government has managed over the decades to maintain relative ethnic and religious harmony between Sunnis, Shi’ites, Alawites, Druze, Christians, and even Jews in Syria.
Sunni Muslims represent somewhat of a majority through central Syria and are presently the preferred ally of western powers seeking to dissolve the nation state of Syria. They also comprise the majority of foreign and domestic guerrilla fighters being deployed throughout the country by planners in Washington and London.

Can we live next to an Iranian Syria?
Jamal Khashoggi, Al-Arabiya, 9 September 2015



Turki Al-Faisal: "Fighting ISIS is fighting Assad" (16-3-2015)
Like any war, the one in Syria will eventually be over, but it could lead to a permanently bad outcome.
Today’s generation does not remember Israel being described as a dagger in the heart of the Arab nation. In the 1960s, Arab caricaturists drew the map of the world with blood trickling from where Palestine is located...
A sectarian, Iranian Syria would be the second dagger, one that will remain for centuries, waging one war after another with us...

Iran is redrawing the map of Arab Syria. In order for Arab nationalists to realize the coming danger, they must see things from a sectarian point of view because Iran’s regional motives and alliances are purely sectarian.

Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist, columnist, author, and general manager of the upcoming Al Arab News Channel. He previously served as a media aide to Prince Turki al Faisal while he was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Flashback: New Syria Constitution, 2012

The document was issued on 15 February 2012 as a result of four months' work by a committee established by President Assad. Significantly,it omitted the existing constitution's reference to the Baath party as the "leader of the nation and society". It was approved in a referendum on 26 February, 2012.

Arab civilization, which is part of human heritage, has faced through its long history great challenges aimed at breaking its will and subjecting it to colonial domination, but it has always rose through its own creative abilities to exercise its role in building human civilization.
The Syrian Arab Republic is proud of its Arab identity and the fact that its people are an integral part of the Arab nation. The Syrian Arab Republic embodies this belonging in its national and pan-Arab project and the work to support Arab cooperation in order to promote integration and achieve the unity of the Arab nation.
The Syrian Arab Republic considers international peace and security a key objective and a strategic choice, and it works on achieving both of them under the International Law and the values of right and justice....

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Syria, both as people and institutions had faced the challenge of development and modernization during tough regional and international circumstances which targeted its national sovereignty. This has formed the incentive to accomplish this Constitution as the basis for strengthening the rule of law.

Article 2: "no individual or group may claim sovereignty"

The system of governance in the state shall be a republican system; Sovereignty is an attribute of the people; and no individual or group may claim sovereignty.
Sovereignty shall be based on the principle of the rule of the people by the people and for the people; The People shall exercise their sovereignty within the aspects and limits prescribed in the Constitution.

Assad’s resignation will not solve migrant crisis
Russian Foreign Ministry - TASS, 10-9-2015

Resignation of Syria’s President Bashar Assad will not solve the current migrant crisis in Europe, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharov told the Rossiya-1 television channel on Thursday.

"We need a pragmatic common approach in this respect including the involvement of Assad in the fight against Islamic State terror."
Sebastian Kurz
"The roots of the migrant crisis lie in the Middle East conflicts. And everyone understands too well that Assad is not the problem. It is now the most enticing topic to build up propaganda effect around that should Assad step down the influx of migrants will stop," she said, commenting on Fox News’ statements accusing Russia of support to Bashar Assad’s policy.

"The fight against the ‘universal evil’ personified by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi brought about no positive results," she reminded.
"Yes, the ‘universal evil’ in the person of Gaddafi exists no longer, but the country has ceased to exist too… The territory is simply in the hands of international terrorism and is used by it as a stronghold..."

According to Zakharova, the Syrian army is the only force standing in the way of Islamic State.
In this connection, she said, the Russian foreign ministry drew attention to the statement by Austria’s foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz.
"I also took notice of Mr. Kurz’s words, who said it openly that it was high time to begin to speak with Damascus about joint efforts against Islamic State," Zakharova said.

The spokeswoman noted that Russia was concerned over the situation in Europe no less than the European Union. "Europe is our organic partner. We need it strong but not weakened. We want to see it strong from the point of view of strategy, economic and humanitarian ties," she underscored.


Al-Qaida's Zawahiri says he would fight with ISIS
By RUDAW, 10-9-2015

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said he is not against cooperating with the Islamic State although he said Muslims are not required by Islam to join the jihadist group...
"Despite the big mistakes of ISIS militants, if I were in Iraq or Syria I would cooperate with them in killing the crusaders and secularists and Shiites, even though I don't recognize the legitimacy of their state, because the matter is bigger than that," Zawahiri said in a new sound recording released by Al-Qaeda’s official media wing.
This is the first message from the Al-Qaida leader since August when Zawahiri pledged allegiance to the Taliban's new leader, Mullah Akhtar.

The terror group increasingly finds itself overshadowed internationally by the Islamic State, which holds one-third of Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate.

Netanyahu: 'Ready for negotiations'
Arutz Sheva, 10-9-2015

Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Thursday morning with British Prime Minister David Cameron...
"I look forward to discussing with you everything you mentioned..," Netanyahu told Cameron at the start of the meeting.

- "First security," the Israeli Prime Minister noted. "The Middle East is disintegrating under the twin forces of militant Islam: The militant Sunnis led by ISIS and the militant Shiites led by Iran."
- "Secondly, and no less important, peace," Netanyahu continued.
"I want to say here in 10 Downing Street, and reaffirm again that I am ready to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians with no conditions whatsoever to enter negotiations, and I'm willing to do so immediately," the Prime Minister vowed.

Flashback 18-5-2015: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has handed responsibility for any future peace talks with the Palestinians to his new Interior Minister Silvan Shalom...
Shalom, a veteran member of Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party, will also be in charge of strategic dialogue with the United States...
The nomination was denounced by the Palestinians who said Shalom did not believe in the two-state solution. (YNet News 18-5-2015)

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom:
hero of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria
By Moshe Cohen, Arutz Sheva,10-9-2015

"We are all against a Palestinian state, there is no question about it." Silvan Shalom, Likud meeting 2012

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom was regaled as a hero of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria Wednesday...
The mass event brought together local and regional officials and leaders to pay tribute to Shalom, who for years has quietly – but very effectively – helped make it easier for tens of thousands of Jews to buy homes in Judea and Samaria.
Yesha Council Chairman Avi Ro'eh thanked Shalom – and his chief of staff, Orna Hausman-Bechor – for their ongoing assistance throughout their careers...

An emotional Shalom told members of the audience that there was still much to do.
“We all want the situation to improve even more, and God willing we will be increasing the assistance to all local authorities and municipalities in Judea and Samaria...”
Not only would the Interior Ministry be at the service of communities in Judea and Samaria, said Shalom, but as Deputy Prime Minister, another title he holds in the current government, he would make sure that “all government ministries take part in this important project.”


Syria, Iraq, and the Kurds - a Zionist vision
Daniel Pipes, 9-9-2015

Let them fracture into threes

In certain circles, Syria and Iraq have come to be known as Suraqiya, joining their names together as the border has collapsed and they have each simultaneously been divided into three main regions: a Shiite-oriented central government, a Sunni Arab rebellion, and a Kurdish part that wants out.
This is a positive development; there's nothing sacred about the British-French Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 which created these two polities.
Quite the contrary, that accord has proven an abject failure; conjure up the names of Hafez al-Assad and Saddam Hussein to remember why.
These miserable states exist for the benefit of their monstrous leaders who proceed to murder their own subjects. So, let them fracture into threes, improving matters for the locals and the outside world.

Let them kill each other

As Turkish-backed Sunni jihadis fight Iranian-backed Shi'i jihadis in Suraqiya, the West should stand back from the fighting.
Neither side deserves support; this is not our fight. Indeed, these two evil forces at each others' throats means they have less opportunity to aggress on the rest of the world. If we do wish to help, it should be directed first to the many victims of the civil war; if we want to be strategic, help the losing side - so neither side wins.

Western governments should not take in refugees

As for the massive flow of refugees from Syria: Western governments should not take in large numbers but instead pressure Saudi Arabia and other rich Middle Eastern states to offer sanctuary. Why should the Saudis be exempt from the refugee flow, especially when their country has many advantages over, say, Sweden: linguistic, cultural, and religious compatibility, as well as proximity and a similar climate.

A unified Kurdistan shoud be our ally in the Middle East

The rapid emergence of a Kurdish polity in Iraq, followed by one in Syria, as well as a new assertiveness in Turkey and rumblings in Iran are a positive sign.
Let us help the Kurds who are as close to an ally as we have in the Muslim Middle East. Not just separate Kurdish units should come into existence but also a unified Kurdistan made up from parts of all four countries.
That this harms the territorial integrity of those states does not present a problem, as not one of them works well as presently constituted

Flashback 2003: Believe It or Not
President Bush Nominates Controversial Pipes to Peace Post
By Delinda C. Hanley, June 2003

Believe it or not, President George W. Bush has nominated Daniel Pipes, a man American Muslims regard as "the nation's leading Islamophobe," to the 15-member board of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Pipes "espouses a theory of conflict resolution that rests on the assumption that peace usually is achieved only by one side defeating the other with military force or other pressure, and only rarely though reconciliation or negotiation."

The May 1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called Pipes "a vicious ideologue, a leading American proponent of the most extreme brand of right-wing Zionism."
In numerous editorials and speeches Pipes maintains that "Israel should seek complete victory over the native Arab population of Palestine," which, he says, means "destroying the Palestinians' will to resist Israeli occupation and seizure of their land."