Saddam's Death, 58
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 57: september 2015 and Page 59: oct-november 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

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

Albert Schweitzer: "We Are All Guilty Of Inhumanity"

What really matters is that we should all of us realize that we are guilty of inhumanity. The horror of this realization should shake us out of our lethargy so that we can direct our hopes and our intentions to the coming of an era in which war will have no place.
This hope and this will can have but one aim: to attain, through a change in spirit, that superior reason which will dissuade us from misusing the power at our disposal.
Kant, in his essay on "Perpetual Peace", which appeared in 1795, and in other publications in which he touches upon the problem of peace, states his belief that peace will come only with the increasing authority of an international code of law, in accordance with which an international court of arbitration would settle disputes between nations.
This authority, he maintains, should be based entirely on the increasing respect which in time, and for purely practical motives, men will hold for the law as such. (Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Lecture, 4-11-1954)

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.

Obama’s Choice
Robert Parry, Consortium News, 1-10-2015

Ultimately, President Barack Obama will have to decide if he wants to cooperate with Russia and Iran in beating back Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other jihadists – or realign U.S. policy in accord with Israel’s obsession with “regime change” in Syria, even if that means a victory by Al Qaeda. In other words, should the United States come full circle in the Middle East and help Al Qaeda win?

Preferring Al Qaeda over Assad is the Israeli position – embraced by many neocons, too. The priority for the Israeli/neocon strategy has been to seek “regime change” in Syria as a way to counter Iran and its support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, both part of Shia Islam.
According to this thinking, if Assad, an Alawite, a branch of Shia Islam, can be removed, a new Sunni-dominated regime in Syria would disrupt Hezbollah’s supply lines from Iran and thus free up Israel to act more aggressively against both the Palestinians and Iran.

Salafist preacher Adnan al-Arour (useful idiot), Zionist Bernard Levy, Brotherhood-cleric Qaradawi (useful idiot)

Israel’s preference for Al Qaeda over Assad has been acknowledged by senior Israeli officials for the past two years though never noted in the U.S. mainstream media.
In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.
“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al Qaeda.
And, in June 2014, then speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria.

Why do moderates in Muslim world remain silent?
Samar Fatany, Saudi Gazette, 2-10-2015

"There are no separate cultures, there is but one single culture in the world, namely the culture of mankind".
"Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man, since man is the creation of the creator".
Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, Strasbourg 15-1-2008
ARE there moderate Muslim scholars who can help Muslims find solutions to prevailing challenges and are they capable enough to confront sectarian conflicts that are a threat to humanity and global peace?
Muslim researchers stress the need to support moderate religious scholars and empower them to speak out against extremists and the proponents of the militant ideology.
Unfortunately today the Muslim world is burdened with so called scholars of limited Islamic education who have taken a more rigid direction.

We are divided and there are no signs of an end to the sectarian conflicts that are killing innocent women and children, destroying homes and displacing entire communities.
Where are the Muslim academic councils that can guide the faithful to a peaceful end?
Scholars who advocate moderate Islam and represent the silent majority of the Muslim world have made little progress to counter the forces of evil, who are using Islam to achieve political gains.
The unscholarly religious leaders have given themselves the privilege to announce fatwas... Extremists continue to abuse the Qur’anic text with distorted interpretations and they propagate a deviant ideology that is devoid of any tolerance or compassion.

Muslim scholars, Arab and non-Arab, have a responsibility to protect the victims of extremists, terrorist organizations and other factions with selfish agendas.
World peace is under threat and there are no visible initiatives to counter the enemies of humanity and global coexistence.
Can moderate Muslim scholars identify themselves and speak out before it is too late?

President Al-Assad Interview with the Iranian Khabar TV
Syria Times, October 4, 2015

Question: The states which used to call for overthrowing the regime have started to declare that they accept President Assad’s participation in an interim government. What’s your reading of this change in positions, and why has it happened?

President Assad: Western officials are in a state of confusion and their vision lacks clarity. At the same time, they are overwhelmed by a sense of failure concerning the plans they drew and didn’t achieve their objectives...
The lies they propagated at the beginning of the events in Syria, in order to promote their positions to their audiences, have started to unravel.
You cannot continue to lie to your people for years. You might do that for a limited period of time. Today, as a result of technological advances in the field of information, every citizen in every part of the world could know part of the truth. These parts have started to come together in the minds of their people, and they have found out that their governments have been lying to them concerning what has happened in Syria.

Question: Your heard the news about the immigrants and refugees who went to other countries. When you see images and videos of those refugees, how do you feel?

President Assad: This is painful of course. Syria has always been a safe haven for refugees throughput its history...
Recently, at least throughout the last century, it hosted the Palestinians, the Lebanese, and before that the Armenians who fled to Syria because of the massacres perpetrated against them. There were also the massacres perpetrated against the Syriacs during the days of the Ottoman State and in other junctures. We should not also forget the Iraqis after the American invasion in 2003.
It is very painful for a Syrian to turn into a refugee; and perhaps this is a black spot in Syria’s history which we will remember for decades and centuries.
But what is more painful is the exploitation of the refugees’ problems on the part of Western countries and Western media.
They portray it as a humanitarian tragedy from which they feel pain, while in reality they are the greatest contributors to this condition through their support of terrorism and through the sanctions they imposed on Syria.

Question: Iran, Hezbollah and Syria enjoy strategic relations in the region. Do you believe that these relations can stand up to Zionist American plans?

President Assad: I believe that without this relation the situation in the region would not have been the same in terms of independence... This axis distinguishes itself by defending its rights and adhering to independence. God willing it will be able to defeat terrorism which is a new instrument for subjugating the region. Independence is the foundation of development, the foundation of prosperity in all development areas: economically, culturally, intellectually and in all other areas without any exception. So we should maintain this relationship, consolidate and develop it.

Question: We go back to internal Syrian affairs. The opposition calls for you to step down. If you believe that stepping down will restore security and stability to Syria, what would you do?

President Assad: This is decided only by the people. Every person who lends his decisions to another country is despised by the Syrian people, and his influence will be zero. He becomes a mere talking head in the media. All those who believe in such a proposition should take part in the elections and try to prove their viewpoints. We have no objection. As for me personally, I say once again that if my departure is the solution, I will never hesitate to do that.

The real opposition is that which belongs to the people. If any person is convinced that he opposes the government, we tell him to speak out for the concerns of the Syrian citizens. If you speak out for the concerns, aspirations and desires of this citizen and act in his best interest, he will consider you his representative, and you will have a role in your country whether others wanted that or not.
But don’t call yourself a member of the opposition if you are an agent for another country. To be in opposition means to be patriotic. There is no unpatriotic opposition. Any unpatriotic individual is not a member of the opposition, he is a foreign agent.

The Americans want to rejoice in the fall of the tyrant
Israel Shamir, UNZ Review, October 4, 2015

the axis of evil

The Russians began their war on Terror. George W Bush’s War on Terror was a sham; would the Russian one be any better? The Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh), the declared object of the campaign, is an elusive entity, like al Qaeda. It is a franchise, a network, rather than a state. It can’t be undone by airstrikes anymore than al Qaeda was.

Putin said that the US unleashed thousands of airstrikes at Daesh, and nobody knows where those bombs landed and whether they had any impact. The West says the same about the Russian strikes. The British Minister of Defence promptly estimated that 5% of the Russian bombs hit Daesh, while the rest landed on other fighting units a.k.a. “the moderate opposition”. Though this number of 5% could only be achieved by divination or by reading tea leaves, it is plausible that the Russians will use the war on Daesh for their own purpose. What is the Russian plan?

They do not want to present Assad with an unlimited victory. The Russians want to sort out the Syrian mess created by the Assad-must-go mantra, and force the sane opposition to negotiate with the Syrian government, eventually restoring the Syrian state...
The opposition will have a choice of (a) negotiating and entering a coalition with the government, (b) being bombed to smithereens as Daesh, or (c) escaping to the deserts of Eastern Syria, Turkey or Iraq.
The US, French, British and the Turks say that Russians are bombing the moderate opposition rather than Daesh. From Russian point of view, those who refuse to negotiate are Daesh by definition, and so they deserve to be bombed...

It appears that at the face-to-face Putin-Obama meeting at the UN HQ, this argument was aired again. President Obama said that Assad does not fight against Daesh and President Putin retorted that this was the US demand: stay out and do not meddle. Assad waited for a whole year, and so did we, said Putin, and meanwhile the territory under Assad’s control shrunk down to 30% or even less.
Obama demanded more transparency regarding Russian plans and intentions. Putin retorted he also could use more transparency regarding American plans. What do you want to achieve in Syria, asked Obama. Putin asked the same question, and got no answer.
Obama said Russian involvement in the war with Daesh would fortify Assad. Putin asked: whom will your involvement fortify? We do not want to liberate territories for Assad, said Obama. For whom, pray tell me, do you do to liberate the territories?, asked Putin, and received no answer. Who will rule the territories after your victory? Again there was no clear answer.
This is the difference between the Russian and American approach: the Russians want to save the Syrian state, while the Americans want to rejoice in the fall of the tyrant.

the axis of evil

Russians stress that they are not committed to Assad’s rule. They “aren’t married to Assad”, as they say. To Obama’s Assad must go, Putin did not reply with Assad must stay. This is not your business, he said, and it is not Saudis’ business neither. This is an internal Syrian affair. We do not want to remove or appoint presidents in other countries, said Putin.
Russians made a huge effort to get the opposition together for negotiations, but in vain. The opposition is fragmented into thirty or more groups, and they can’t even sit together, let alone sit with the Syrian government. When the Russians proposed a conference, the opposition refused. They said: the government has a position, but we have thirty differing positions, how can we negotiate? The Russians asked the powers to produce at least a short list of moderate opposition groups. Only Turkey came up with a list, but this list was totally unacceptable to Egypt, as it contained mainly Muslim Brotherhood splinters. Other powers did not even propose a short list.

A month or so ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the last attempt to convince the opposition saying “if you do not work together, Syria will cease to exist. There will be no Assad, and no Syria. Damascus will fall to Daesh”. It did not have an impact either...
The Russians would like to build a grand coalition for saving Syria, a coalition that includes the Western states as well as Muslim states. That’s why President Putin reminded everyone of the grand coalition against Hitler’s Germany. However, there is no chance for such a consensus. The US wants Syria to be utterly destroyed, and certainly it wants the Russians to fail in their endeavour...

Lavrov Says Moscow Ready to Establish Contacts With Free Syrian Army
Sputnik News, 5-10-2015

Moscow is prepared to set up contacts with the opposition's Free Syrian Army and have asked the United States for information on them, but so far Moscow has not received a response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"In any case, I asked [US Secretary of State] John Kerry to have [the United States] give us some sort of information of where the Free Syrian Army is and who's running it," Lavrov said.
He said that Russia was willing to work with the opposition's army to settle the crisis in Syria. "We are even ready…to make contact with them, we're not hiding that, but so far no one has told us anything," Lavrov added.

Al-Moallem: the army has the support of almost all the Syrian people
Syrian Arab News Agency, 5 October 2015

Beirut, SANA – Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said that the Russian airstrikes in Syria were being prepared for months, and that they cannot be linked to the present time.
In a preview of an interview given to al-Mayadeen TV due to be broadcast in full later, al-Moallem said that Russia worked hard to establish an information center in Iraq that involves Russia, Iraq, Syria, and Iran, asserting that this center will serve an important role in exchanging information.

Without a doubt, Russia will win this race. I have no doubt at all, and the reason behind that is practical and simple: it’s because Russia is coordinating with the Syrian Arab Army, which is the only force in Syria that is confronting terrorism,” he said.
Al-Moallem went on to say that when military action has coordination on the ground and in the sky, the operations will produce results, noting that the United States on the other hand doesn’t coordinate with Syria, which is why after 9,000 airstrikes against ISIS and more than a year later, the terrorist organization became stronger and more widespread.
The Syrian Minister said the UN Security Council issued 3 resolutions on Syria under the 7th chapter and still there were no results on the ground, adding that 70% of terrorism in Syria could have been stopped immediately if the neighboring countries had adhered to these resolutions.

“Like many of the world’s countries, we have started to lose faith in the UNSC and we would rather rely on our understandings with the Russian Federation. The US and the U.S.-led coalition were not legal and their coalition violated the Syrian sovereignty and the UN Charter and still it was fruitless and caused only more spread of the ISIS,” al-Moallem said, highlighting that the UNSC resolution included the ISIS, Jabhet al-Nusra and all terrorist groups, which are enlisted as terrorist by the UN itself.

He expressed his faith in achieving victory because the Syrian army is still firm in face of a multi-frontier war against terrorist organizations backed by many countries, and still the army is ready to sacrifice and has the support of almost all the Syrian people, adding that the conspirators are feeling that things are not moving in their favor and that is why they started their hysteric statements and media escalation.

British journalist Lindsey Hilsum argues that many Syrians see Russians as saviors.
Sputnik News, 4-10-2015

Residents in the Syrian cities of Tartous and Latakia believe that Russia’s military operation against the ISIL terrorist group would bring the war in the country to an end, the British journalist wrote.
According to Hilsum, most people living in the territories under control of Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad say that they are ready to serve in the government army, but hope that the war will soon come to an end and that the military mobilization stops.
According to Hilsum, Syrians are welcoming the Russian military who started a operation in the country after Assad’s official request.
“The Russians are the heroes of the hour. People greet the few foreigners who visit with a cheerful Russian “Dobry den!” and shout out their enthusiasm for President Putin, who they believe will deliver them from terrorism,” Hilsum wrote in the Guardian.

Russia ready to work with Kingdom to root out terror
Saudi Gazette report, 5-10-2015

RIYADH — Ambassador of Russian Federation to the Kingdom Oleg Ozerov has denied targeting civilians in Syria and said his country was ready to work with Saudi Arabia to obliterate terrorism.
“Moscow and Riyadh share the same vision and are in complete harmony on a political solution to the Syrian crisis based on the outcome of the Geneva-1 conference,” he told the Dammam-based Alsharq newspaper.

Ozerov said the terrorists were not only threatening the Middle East but the entire world and as such must be annihilated. He said Russia’s air strikes in Syria, which began on Wednesday, were aimed at destroying terrorists, preventing the total collapse of the state and preserving Russia’s national interests in view of the fact that a number of Russians are fighting along side the terrorists. “We do not want these Russian terrorists to return to the country,” he said.
The ambassador said the main objective behind Russia’s military presence in Syria is to destroy Daesh and similar other terrorist organizations in the region. “We are there to save Syria from complete collapse.”
“The terrorists have come to Syria in large numbers from Russia, the US and Europe." Ozerov said Russia could not stand idle oblivious to what the terrorists are doing in Syria and elsewhere especially when they are expanding their reign of terror.
“This undoubtedly worries us, particularly that the results of the work of the International Alliance are still below the desired level,” he said, adding that the objectives of Russia and the alliance are the same.

The ambassador denied that the Russians were killing innocent civilians in Syria. “We are doing what the alliance is doing, which is to destroy the sources and potentials of the terrorists, to stop them from spreading to other areas in the Middle East and avoid the complete destruction of Syria,” he said.
Ozerov strongly denied that Russian warplanes were targeting civilian areas. “We will never do this. These are only rumors. There is no proof that we have targeted civilians or the areas free of terrorists,” he said.
The ambassador said his country is totally against the division or the destruction of Syria. “We want to defeat the terrorists before starting a completely new political process to end the Syrian crisis,” he said.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: Russia is interested in cooperation with all without exception.
"We’ve had contacts with the leadership of Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, the Gulf states." "We want, if all are really committed to the declarations of the fight against terrorism, the fight against international terrorism, to establish the appropriate contacts that would be based on the common interests, because the maximal results can be achieved only through joint efforts." (TASS 5-10-2015)

Brzezinksy: They could be “disarmed” if they persist in provoking the US.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, October 06, 2015 "ICT" - "The Financial Times"

Moscow has chosen to intervene militarily, but without political or tactical co-operation with the US — the principal foreign power engaged in direct efforts to unseat Mr Assad.
In doing so it allegedly launched air attacks at Syrian elements that are sponsored, trained and equipped by the Americans, inflicting damage and causing casualties. At best, it was a display of Russian military incompetence; at worst, evidence of a dangerous desire to highlight American political impotence.

In either case, the future of the region, and American credibility among the states of the Middle East, are both at stake. In these rapidly unfolding circumstances the US has only one real option if it is to protect its wider stakes in the region: to convey to Moscow the demand that it cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets.
The Russian naval and air presences in Syria are vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland. They could be “disarmed” if they persist in provoking the US.
But, better still, Russia might be persuaded to act with the US in seeking a wider accommodation to a regional problem that transcends the interests of a single state.... US power, intelligently and decisively applied in pursuit of a new formula for regional stability, is needed.

Saudi clerics call for jihad against Russia in Syria
Russia Today, 7 Oct, 2015

Dozens of Saudi Arabian clerics - not officially affiliated with Riyadh - have urged Muslims to support the fight of “holy warriors” against Syria’s government and its Iranian and Russian allies. The clerics are outraged by Russia’s bombing of Islamic State.
They have signed a joint online statement urging “true Muslims” to “give all moral, material, political and military” support to the fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army as well as Iranian and Russian forces.
The statement follows the commencement of daily Russian air raids in Syria targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists. Contrary to Riyadh’s public anti-ISIS stance, the clerics’ call appears to be portraying the militants as “defenders” of faith.
The clerics, some of which are members of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, called on “all those who are able, and outside of Saudi Arabia, to answer the calls of jihad” and to fight alongside one of the extremist groups facing Russian forces.

“The holy warriors of Syria are defending the whole Islamic nation. Trust them and support them ... because if they are defeated, God forbid, it will be the turn of one Sunni country after another,” the call reads, as cited by Reuters.

The group brands the Russian involvement as “an orthodox crusade” and calls on anti-Assad fighters to “unify their front” and stay in Syria. It also uses sectarian terms for Iran and the Shi’ite Alawite sect to which Assad belongs.

The sectarian statement runs contrary to the Saudi government’s rhetoric and the country’s law. Officially, Riyadh is doing all it can to prevent citizens from privately funding militants abroad and leaving the country to join the fighting in Syria.
In March of 2014, invitations to join conflicts were outlawed in Saudi Arabia by a decree that put terrorist groups such as Islamic State and the Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front on the forbidden list. Anyone breaching the law faces a long prison term.

Saudis Established Syrian Jihadi Command Center in March, 6-10-2015

Last week Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir rejected a Russian overture to end the conflict in Syria and said Bashar al-Assad must step down immediately or face what he called the “military option.”

Earlier this year Saudi Arabia and Turkey established Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar ash-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria linked Sham Legion.

The Army of Conquest (Arabic: Jaish al-Fatah, JaF) is a military operations coalition in the Syrian Civil War that consists of numerous Syrian Islamist rebel factions mainly active in the Idlib Governorate, with some factions active in the Hama and Latakia Governorates. It declared its formation on 24 March 2015.
Ahrar ash-Sham is the largest group in the Army of Conquest. Ahrar al-Sham was founded by members of Al Qaeda and maintains links to AQ’s core leadership. Other prominent Islamist factions in the operations room include the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria linked Sham Legion, however the operations room collaborates with more moderate Free Syrian Army factions such as Knights of Justice Brigade.
"It is forbidden to mention the name of any faction" when conducting operations between the coalition's members. Al-Ahram Weekly reported that "Jabhat Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham represent 90 per cent of the troops. The Saudis and Qataris are to provide funding for 40 per cent of the coalition’s needs". (Wikipedia info)

Flashback 2013 - Saudi mufti: assassinating Assad would be justified
Clerics should unite in fatwa on Assad - Jerusalem Post 14-3-2013

Saudi religious leader Sheikh Ayed al-Qarni called this week for all Muslim scholars to issue a joint fatwa (religious ruling) against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his government, the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV channel reported.
Al-Qarni told the pan-Arab news channel that the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia and Al-Azhar University in Egypt should condemn the Syrian regime, and even said that assassinating Assad would be justified.
In addition, he continued, the Syrian army had forced people to bow down to a picture of Assad. "That is why all Syrians have to fight this regime. The Syrian youth should take up arms against the regime," he told Al-Arabiya.

According to a report on the Saudi Gazette¹s website late last week, Saudi cleric Sheikh Hassan Safar criticized the proliferation of fatwas coming from unqualified clerics on Arab satellite TV channels.

Sheikh Hassan al-Saffar (born 1958) is a Shi'a scholar from Qatif, Saudi Arabia. He is considered one of the most important Shi'a leaders in Saudi Arabia. He established the Shi'a Islamic Reform Movement in the early 1990s, which sought to improve the relations between the Shi'a and the ruling family. (Wikipedia)

Russia could accept Washington’s proposal on cooperation in fight against ISIS
Syrian Arab News Agency, 6-10-2015

Moscow, SANA – Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that it could accept the U.S. Pentagon’s proposal on coordination of military flights against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria.
“The Russian Defense Ministry has responded to the Pentagon’s request and promptly considered the American proposal on coordination of actions in the framework of the fight against the terror group ISIS,” said the Ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov. “In general, these proposals could be accepted for implementation,” he added.
There are only some technical details to be clarified in a meeting later today by representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Pentagon on the level of experts, said Konashenkov.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter called on Tuesday for holding a second session of Russian-US military talks over Syria as soon as possible.
A Russian defense official said the talks should be much broader than what the Pentagon is seeking. Both sides met once by video conference late last week, a day after the Russian airstrikes began in Syria

Putin: Results of Russia’s counter-terrorism operations in Syria positive so far
Syrian Arab News Agency, 7 October 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that the results of Russia’s military operations against terrorists in Syria have been positive so far. During a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Wednesday, Putin said that evaluating such a difficult form of counter-terrorism operations now would be premature, but what has been achieved thus far has been very positive.
The Russian President stressed that the Russian Air Force’s operations are conducted in coordination with the Syrian Arab Army’s operations, and that he is counting on this coordination in the future so that the Russian Air Force can support the Syrian Army effectively.

Putin called on the United States who claims to “know the situation on the ground in Syria better than any other side” to provide the Russian Defense Ministry with data on the locations of ISIS terrorists in Syria, if these claims are actually true.
He also stressed the need for cooperation in fighting terrorism, as without the participation of the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and other neighboring countries, it would be difficult to finish the fight against terrorism in the desired way.

Putin also revealed that French President Francois Hollande proposed an “interesting” idea during the recent Normandy group meeting, which is uniting the efforts of the Syrian Arab Army with the so-called “Free Army” to fight ISIS.
He said that Russia doesn’t know anything about what this “Free Army” is or where it’s located or who are its leaders, but if one assumes that such a proposed military wing of the “good part” of the opposition actually exists, then uniting efforts to fight against terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Nusra would be a good prelude for a later political settlement in Syria, adding that Russia is working actively to contact all Syrian opposition forces.

Turbulent day as Palestinian storm continues
YNet news, 6-10-2015

Tensions around the country remain on knife's edge, with violence erupting in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Jaffa. About 50 Palestinians were wounded, as well as several Israelis. The violence came as an Arab protest against Israeli policy on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem got out of control and two of the rioters were arrested. Police said the protest was held without the proper licenses.
It is the first time clashes have reached central Israel since a wave of violence began recently in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Jerusalem police detectives came to the area in order to arrest a stone-thrower, and were immediately surrounded by locals, who tried to prevent them from executing the arrest. A border police force that was close by was called in, and assisted the officers with the arrest.
Violence also erupted Tuesday at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem, when Palestinians threw stones at police and border police forces. One border police soldier was lightly wounded by a stone thrown by Palestinians. Incidents of stone-throwing at police also occurred Tuesday afternoon at the Beit Hanina neighborhood in northern East Jerusalem. They were dispersed after a short time and no one was hurt.
Coordination with Palestinian security forces is still in effect, but the situation is making work difficult. The IDF, meanwhile, also has to contend with Jewish rioters, whom security forces have dubbed as showing similar behavioral patterns to Palestinian rioters, such as stone-throwing and forcing drivers out of their cars.

Israeli Jews flock to Western Wall to pray traditional morning service
By Yoni Kempinski, Israel National News, october 4, 2015

Orthodox Jews gathering near the Roman Fort Antonia, AD 2015

Thousands of Jews prayed the early Vatikin morning service at the Kotel (Western Wall) on Sunday morning, in a show of faith and defiance on Hoshanah Rabbah, the last day of the Sukkot holiday.
Worshipers entered the Kotel complex via the Jewish Quarter, and with a police escort, in light of Saturday night's string of stabbings in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Early Sunday morning, Israel Police announced it would limit access to the Old City to restore calm to the area - but the terror did not prevent Israeli Jews from attending the traditional service. The gathering fulfilled calls from Israel's most prominent rabbis to keep visiting the site despite the deterioration in the security situation.

Misunderstandings About Jerusalem's Temple Mount
By George Wesley Buchanan, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2011

While it has not been widely published, it assuredly has been known for more than 40 years that the 45-acre, well-fortified place that has been mistakenly called the "Temple Mount" was really the Roman fortress 'the Antonia', that Herod built. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque are contained within these walls. The area is called the Haram Al-Sharif in Arabic.

Tourists are still mistakenly told that the Haram is the Temple Mount

Fort Antonia, symbol of Roman power - destruction of the temple AD 70

The discovery that this area had once been the great Roman fortress came as a shock to the scholarly community, which had believed for many years that this ancient fortress was the place where the temple had been.
This news was preceded by another shock, when the English archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon discovered in 1962 that the entire City of David in the past had been only that little rock ridge on the western bank of the Kidron Valley. Less than 10 years later the historian Benjamin Mazar learned that the Haram had undoubtedly been the Roman fortress.

In biblical times the Haram was not a sacred place. Instead it was the place that Orthodox Jews considered defiled and the most despised place in the world. Within these walls were found no remnants of any of the earlier temples but rather an image of Mars, the Roman god of war.
The 1st century Jewish Roman historian Titus Flavius Josephus said the Romans always kept a whole legion of soldiers (5,000-6,000) there, and that there were stones in its walls that were 30 feet long, 15 feet thick, and 71/2 feet high. While excavating the area, Mazar found these very stones there in the Haram—not in the temple.
He and the local Muslims also discovered there three inscriptions, honoring the Roman leaders in the war of A.D. 66-72—Vespasian, Titus, and Silva—and Hadrian in the war of A.D. 132-135, for their success in defeating the Jews in the wars. Appropriate inscriptions for a Roman fortress, but impossible for a temple that had been destroyed in A.D. 70—65 years before the inscriptions had been made. Mazar shared these insights freely with other participants in the excavation, such as Herbert Armstrong and Ernest Martin.
Mazar also knew at once that the temple instead was stationed 600 feet farther south and 200 feet lower in altitude, on Mount Ophel, where the Spring of Siloam poured tons of water under the threshold of the temple every minute (Ezek 47:1), after which the water was distributed wherever it was needed.

Tourists are still mistakenly told that the Haram is the Temple Mount, that David's citadel is near the Jaffa Gate, and that Mount Zion and the place where the Last Supper was held are all in the Upper City.
Because innocent Evangelical Christians in America, under the guidance of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, have not been informed of these facts, they have thought there was some biblical or religious reason why it was necessary to destroy Islam's third most sacred building in the world, together with the al-Aqsa mosque.
It is my hope that, once Christians learn of this mistake, they will work as zealously for peace, following the teachings of Abraham, the 8th century prophets (Mica 6:8), Jesus, and Paul, as they once worked to promote war in the Middle East. This would make a tremendous difference to Jerusalem—and to the world.

Hanin Zoabi: Jews Have No Connection to Temple Mount, October 2, 2015

In an interview Friday in a Hebrew-language publication, Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi said, “The name is al-Aqsa, not the Temple Mount, and there is nothing there for Jews,” the Times of Israel reported. Al-Aqsa is the name of a mosque located on the Temple Mount, a compound in Jerusalem’s Old City that Muslims call Haram al Sarif (Noble Sanctuary).
When a reporter asked if she acknowledges that Judaism’s first and second temples once stood on the site, Zoabi said the temple “is not part of the political reality in which we live.” She added that “the existence of the temple is not verified scientifically.”

Bill Clinton 2001: "I know it’s there”

Bill Clinton said he bluntly contradicted Yasser Arafat when, in one of their final conversations, the Palestinian leader expressed doubts that the ancient Jewish temple actually lay beneath the Islamic-run compound in Jerusalem containing the holy Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
This was a critical point of dispute, since the Western Wall, a remnant of the temple’s retaining wall, is the holiest site in Judaism and one the Israelis were intent on maintaining sovereignty over.
“I know it’s there,” Clinton said he told Arafat.
The so-called Al Aqsa intifada began after Ariel Sharon made a controversial visit to the disputed compound on September 28, 2000.

Israel-Palestinian unrest at risk of turning into religious war
Middle East Online, 70-10-2015

JERUSALEM - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday warned against religious incitement at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site, saying his country and Palestinians were "sitting on a volcano."
Rivlin, whose post is mainly ceremonial, made the comments as unrest has spread in recent days, particularly in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. Clashes have also rocked the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.
Israeli police have raided the site and fired tear gas and stun grenades at masked youths throwing stones and firebombs while barricading themselves inside the mosque itself. Israeli officials have accused radical Muslim groups of inciting violence at the site.

The Al-Aqsa compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred in Judaism. It is located in east Jerusalem, annexed by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community. Muslims fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, which allow Jews to visit but not pray to avoid provoking tensions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly he is committed to the status quo there, and Rivlin said the same on Wednesday. Palestinians however remain deeply suspicious, with efforts by a hardline Jewish minority to build a new temple there helping stoke such concerns.

Yoav Mordechai: Israel is preserving the status quo in the Temple Mount area
YNet News, 7-10-2015

Israel, for the first time during this period of tension, issued a message to the Palestinian population in the West Bank, in an attempt to calm the atmosphere. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major-General Yoav Mordechai, gave an interview to the Palestinian media, saying Israel does not want the situation in the West Bank to escalate.
Maj.-Gen. Mordechai mentioned that Israel is preserving the status quo in the Temple Mount area, and is not interested in changing it. He emphasized that police have restored the situation to its previous state now that the High Holy Days period is over, and that there are currently no restrictions on Palestinians entering the area.
Mordechai also addressed the attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the past few days, making it clear that security forces are monitoring the situation, and that Israel's government will not allow any type of harassment against the Palestinian populace.

Earlier on Wednesday, Palestinians threw stones at an Israeli vehicle traveling near the town of Carmel in Har Hebron, damaging it. Stones were also thrown at cars near Beit Ummar in the Gush Etzion area, but no one was hurt and no damage was done to the vehicles. A police officer was lightly wounded Wednesday afternoon when Palestinians threw stones at him in Hagai St. in Jerusalem's Old City.

Mahmoud Abbas: "We are still a peaceful people"
YNet News, 8-10-2015

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in Ramallah that "In spite of what is happening around us, we remain steadfast in our homeland, we are committed to its success, and believe that this land is our homeland and we will never abandon it for anyone.
We are not attacking anyone and we don’t want others to attack us. We also don’t want them to enter the holy al-Aqsa mosque. We hold the hands of our brothers who are protecting al-Aqsa. But we are suffering in order to defend it.
We call upon the Israeli government: Stay away from our holy places. Our hands are still extended in peace despite our suffering. We are still a peaceful people".

"Legitimate political change must come from a foundation of stability."
Sputnik News, 8-10-2015

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Bashar Assad’s government provides the Syrian people with the best chance for achieving stability and finding a genuine political solution, former White House National Security Council advisor Gwenyth Todd told Sputnik.
"The Assad regime, whatever one's personal view of it, is Syria's best and almost certainly only hope for long-term change," Todd explained. "Legitimate political change in Syria must come from a foundation of stability."
The United States, a staunch opponent of the Assad government, has criticized Russia’s decision to undertake airstrikes in Syria, and accused Moscow of targeting opponents of Assad rather than hitting Islamic State targets.

The Syrian regime, Todd claimed, still stands as Syria’s internationally-recognized, legitimate government. “Assad's forces are not ‘moderate’ either, but they represent a recognized state, which is the only hope for long-term stability and potential future ‘moderation’ in Syria,” she said.
The United States should have learned in Iraq that abrupt changes in political leadership result in chaos, and Syria is no different, Todd added.

The US-led administration in Iraq abolished the Iraqi army and the vast network of security services... Iraq's US administrator Paul Bremer announced that 'a non-political army' would be created in its place.
Bremer's decree, which came a day after around 200,000 "full" members of Saddam's Baath Party were ordered to turn themselves in, dissolved the regular army, the Republican Guard and the defence and information ministries.

"No country in the West enjoys unanimous popular love for or agreement with its leadership," Todd noted, "But most citizens realize that change is an evolutionary, not revolutionary process."
Violent revolutionary groups exist in many countries, including the United States, but no reasonable citizen wishes them success in overthrowing the government, Todd observed.

A show of Russian military force and technology,
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post, October 8, 2015

Twenty-six cruise missiles, launched from the Caspian Sea, traveled more than 900 miles over Iran and Iraq before hitting targets throughout Syria, according to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry.
The Russian Defense Ministry in Wednesday’s statement said that the new Kalibr-NK cruise missiles all hit within nine feet of their intended targets. The strikes landed in Raqqa, Idlib and Aleppo provinces, and Russian officials said they destroyed Islamic State positions, including training camps and ammunition depots.
The Kalibr cruise missile is a relatively new addition to Russia’s arsenal, and according to IHS Jane’s analyst Jeremy Binnie, Wednesday’s launch was the first time the missile’s 900-plus-mile range had been made public.

While cruise missiles are traditionally used at the beginning of bombing campaigns to hit multiple high-value targets simultaneously while avoiding radar detection and maintaining the element of surprise, Russia’s strikes did none of those things. Instead, Binnie believes, everything that was targeted by the Russian cruise missiles could have easily been hit by other Russian assets within Syria (more than 50 aircraft) or possibly by Russian ships in the Mediterranean Sea.
“I think if you look at what cruise missiles are traditionally used for . . . this isn’t one of those scenarios,” Binnie said. “Russia has been striking the [Islamic State] for more than a week, and the U.S. has been for more than a year.”
Binnie went on to say that the cruise missile strikes were probably a show of Russian military force and technology, noting that the ships that fired the missiles — mostly small missile corvettes — were intended to demonstrate that even the small ships in the Russian navy are stronger than they look.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the smaller ships that participated in the strikes are approximately 230 feet long and their primary weapon is the Kalibr cruise missile. The flagship of the strike group, the Dagestan, is 320 feet long and displaces 2,000 tons.

U.S. Says Russia Will Soon Suffer 'Casualties' after Syria Intervention
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 8-10-2015

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday predicted Russia would soon begin suffering casualties in Syria, as Moscow dramatically ramps up its military campaign in the devastated nation. Russia began bombing in Syria last week, radically changing the course of the four-and-a-half-year conflict and providing a massive boost to the regime of President Bashar Assad.
But the military campaign "will have consequences for Russia itself, which is rightly fearful of attacks," Carter said. "In the coming days, the Russians will begin to suffer from casualties."

Carter said Moscow has been reckless in its military commitment, risking clashes with U.S. and other planes targeting Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria as part of a 60-plus member coalition.
"They have shot cruise missiles from a ship in the Caspian Sea without warning; they have come within just a few miles (kilometers) of one of our unmanned aerial vehicles," Carter said. "There's a pattern of saying one thing and doing another" by the Russians, Carter said. "They said they were going to fight (Islamic State) but that doesn't match up with the targets."

Russia accuses U.S. of shirking duty to fight terrorism over Syria
Reuters, October 7, 2015

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian defense ministry said on Wednesday that Washington's refusal to share intelligence with it about the positions of Islamic State militants showed the United States was looking for an excuse not to fight terrorism.
"Our partners from other countries who see a real enemy in Islamic State which must be destroyed should help us with data about bases, warehouses, command points and terror training camps," Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.
"But those who seem to have a different opinion about this terrorist organization are constantly looking for reasons to refuse us cooperation in the fight against international terrorism," he said, referring to Washington.

Washington to overhaul its failed training program for Syrian rebels
Russia Today, 9 Oct, 2015

The Obama administration is going to overhaul its $500 million training program for so called “moderate” Syrian rebels. The move is seen as an acknowledgement that it has failed to create a new combat force capable of fighting Islamic State on the ground. “There is a pause being put in place, while we focus more on the equipping side of those groups that are in Syria now and have proven competent against ISIL [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL],” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told RT’s Gayane Chichakyan at a Friday briefing. Part of the program is being temporarily “shelved,” he added without giving specifics, saying the Pentagon is in charge. “Sometimes you run into obstacles and challenges you didn’t know you were going to have or you couldn’t have predicted,” Kirby said...

Speaking to RT, political analyst Dan Glazebrook said "it was obvious that something was going to have to opinion has always been that this whole business about funding moderate rebels has always been a bit of a fantasy, for a number of reasons."

"There's nothing moderate about what they're being trained to do. There's nothing moderate about forming a militia and then going and killing as many police and soldiers of a sovereign state as you can. And that's assuming the best case scenario that they're only attacking police and soldiers..."

He added that it's "no great surprise that Russia has achieved more in a week of airstrikes than a 62-power coalition has achieved in a year against ISIS."

Dan Glazenbrook, 9-9-2015: "More and more people are coming to their senses"

More and more people are beginning to see what should have obvious from day one, frankly – which is that there is no military solution to this conflict; there is only a political solution. Unfortunately, the US, Britain and France have done all they can to sabotage any possibility of a peaceful settlement by continually calling for Assad to resign and step down and no one can talk to him, etc.
This has [resulted in] two things: number one precluded any meaningful negotiations from happening; secondly, hardened the rebels’ stance and give them some kind of false hope that NATO is just around the corner coming to their aid, and so on, and that they should keep fighting and that they shouldn’t talk or compromise anything either. So there are people coming to their senses increasingly. Whether that faction will come to dominate the actual thinking the US government is unfortunately unlikely. But more and more people are coming to their senses.

Yaron Friedman: The Israeli interest
They have to kill each other
YNet News Opinion, 10-10-2015

"These two evil forces at each others' throats means they have less opportunity to aggress on the rest of the world." "If we want to be strategic, help the losing side - so neither side wins." Daniel Pipes, 9-9-2015

There is no doubt that the Syrian army's breakup in the past few years has removed a significant threat on Israel's security from the northern arena.
The balance in the battle between Sunni terror organizations and the Shi'ites is not leading to a victory or a defeat, but is wearing out both sides. (i.e. kill each other)

A Russian intervention, however, will violate the balance in the short run in favor of the Shi'ite axis and may have serious consequences. The Russians will arm the Syrian army, which may threaten Israel directly with advance weapons or indirectly by transferring these weapons to its ally Hezbollah.

Ousting Assad (i.e. the Baath Party and The Syrian Arab Army) is the only way to create a coalition against the terror of ISIS and al-Qaeda's branch, the al-Nusra Front, together with Saudi Arabia and Turkey and European countries.
A united Arab coalition (US, Turkey, European countries) will be able to free Syria from the terror organizations.

A Russian intervention is not a rescue but an invasion. It does not serve our region (he means: Israel); it only serves Russia. It definitely does not bring us closer to stability and peace, but announces an escalation in the war.
The Russians will first of all destroy the remaining moderate rebels in order to only leave the crazy ISIS and al-Nusra ones in the opposition. That way, they will be able to whiten the regime and present Assad as a favorable option for Syria's future.

The Shi'ite axis will undoubtedly try to make the most of the Russian presence against Israel, against Saudi Arabia, against the Gulf states and in favor of deepening the Iranian imperialism in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq and in Yemen.

Dr. Yaron Friedman teaches Arabic and lectures about Islam at the Technion, at Beit Hagefen and at the Galilee Academic College.

Flashback: "When one of us told the officer that what they were doing was wrong, the officer said laughingly ‘what right, what wrong, what God .. I’m God' .." (Palestine Chronicle, 3-1-2003)

All the earth belongs to us - The Land of Israel and the Torah are Intertwined
By Joseph Frager, MD, Arutz Sheva, 9-10-2015

[Religious] Zionism is declared alive and well in the very first words of the Torah in Parshat Bereishit. "In the beginning Elokim created the heavens and the earth."
The fact that the Torah began with the words, "In the beginning Elokim created" is to declare the power of G-d's works to his People in order to give to them the inheritance of the Nations.
Thus should the nations of the world say to Israel, "You are robbers, for you have taken by force the land of the seven nations," Israel can answer "all the earth belongs to G-d." He created it and gave it to us as an inheritance.

Bennett: Government Guidelines Say No Palestinian State
By Orli Harari, Arutz Sheva, 11-10-2015

Education Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that if opposition chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog plans on joining the coalition, he will have to accept the coalition’s guidelines which say that there will be no Palestinian state.
Speaking to Channel 2 News, Bennett said, "If Herzog wants to join the government on the basis of the absence of a Palestinian state - that's great; if he wants to change the government's guidelines, we will not be there."
"The government's guidelines are not talking about a Palestinian state, so what the Prime Minister says [regarding a Palestinian state] is his own stance - this is not the position of the Israeli government," he stressed.

Regarding the demand to build new homes in Judea and Samaria, Bennett said there was no building freeze in the region, but there was not enough construction: "There is no freeze in Judea and Samaria, in recent years the residents of Judea and Samaria grew by fifty percent. Is there sufficient building? No," he said.
Bennett also stressed in an interview that "there will be no blanket prohibition to ascent the Temple Mount. We must not harm the rights of Jews."

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

INTERVIEW: Kurdish autonomy should be a model to end Syrian conflict
Heba Zaghloul, Ahram online, Saturday 10 Oct 2015

Russian airstrikes are a step forward in the war against terrorism, says Sihanouk Dibo, political advisor to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a leading Syrian Kurdish opposition party and member of the Syrian opposition group in Cairo.
Dibo believes that negotiations with the Bashar Al-Assad regime are inevitable if a solution to the Syrian conflict is to be reached.
"We welcome any intervention that would help fighting terrorism," says Dibo, who refutes the claim that Russia has mostly attacked rebels fighting the Syrian government, not the Islamic State (IS) group.
"We know it because we are on the ground and our information is more accurate over here. Take the city of Al-Qamishli, for instance. I can assure you that IS is there and it suffered casualties, thanks to the Russian strikes."
Dibo also explains that many US backed rebels have surrendered to Al-Nusra Front. "And Al-Nusra Front is affiliated to Al-Qaeda, therefore it is a terrorist group."

The PYD supports the Russian intervention, the same way they back Western coalition operations in Syria. "We are in favour of any operation that would fight extremist groups," he says...
The position of the PYD is that military actions are not in contradiction with the political track. The PYD was one of the main opposition groups that joined the conference for the Syrian opposition that was held in June in Cairo. They support Egyptian efforts to create a unified Syrian opposition front, with the aim of finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
"Russian intervention does not contradict a negotiated solution to the Syrian conflict for the simple reason that there is no solution other than a political one. Russian airstrikes only help to get rid of terrorist groups. This should be done in parallel with the Cairo process," he said.
According to Dibo, one of the main obstacles to finding a solution is the division of the opposition. Instead of uniting, external and internal groups are divided.
"The biggest lie that was spread in the last years is the false claim that the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), based in Istanbul, is the legitimate opposition, representing all Syrians. This is far from the truth," he says. The coalition holds very different opinions from the majority of the Syrian people it claims to represent, Dibo says...

The SNC fails to understand the concept of negotiations, imposing preconditions where in fact the whole purpose of negotiations is to fill the gap between two different views.
Another problem is that "they (the SNC) also want to exclude from future talks major regional actors, such as Iran, whose presence is a must for a long term solution On the other hand, they blindly stand behind Turkey...

Syrian Kurds, like many other opposition groups involved in the Cairo process, believe that negotiations with the Assad regime are inevitable... "Who else should we negociate with?" Dibo asks.
Dibo believes that the PYD-led self-administration experience should extend to the rest of the Syrian areas. "Self-determination is a success story.
Yet neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, which has a sizeable Kurdish minority, fear that this would lead to an independent Kurdish state in northern Syria that would eventually reach into Turkish territory... But Dibo claims that those fears are not justified and that the PYD and PKK only share the same ideology, democratic principles and aspirations for decentralised government...
"Syrian Kurds today live and enjoy their Syrian identity." "In a future Syrian state, we intend to participate in the Syrian army."

"We cannot achieve stability in Syria alongside any organization that carries the same mentality as ISIS.
As for our goals, we aim for a decentralized, democratic Syria, where all peoples enjoy freedom and democratic rights according to universal treaties and conventions. The Kurdish people in Syria have their own specific cultural and societal characteristics and they do not represent the Kurdish people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and we are not aiming to establish a national Kurdish state in Syria."

Salih Muslim, Chairman of Democratic Union Party (PYD) - 2-9-2015

Syria Kurds, Arabs Form Joint Military Force
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 12-10-2015

Syria's leading Kurdish militia and several Arab rebel groups that have fought alongside it have formalized their alliance in a new group called the Syrian Democratic Forces. The alliance was announced in a statement published online by a spokesman for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
"The sensitive stage through which our country Syria is passing and the rapid developments on the military and political front... require a united military force for all Syrians, including Kurds, Arabs and Syriacs and all others," the statement said.
The alliance includes several Syrian rebel groups that have backed the YPG in battles against IS, including the mostly-Arab Burkan al-Furat (Euphrates Volcano) group. Groups representing Arab tribes and Syriac Christians are also listed as participating in the new force.

Euphrates Volcano Chief Commander Haqi Kobani:
"We are acting on the basis of fraternity of peoples... Our aim is a democratic Syria"

The YPG has had several successes in ousting IS from areas of northern Syria, backed by groups like Burkan al-Furat.
In January, they pushed IS out of the border town of Kobane after four months of fighting and heavy U.S.-led airstrikes. And in June, they seized the key town of Tal Abyad from the jihadists, depriving them of a main transit point on the way to their de facto Syrian capital Raqa.

Much of the Syrian opposition has regarded the Kurds with suspicion because of the careful line they have walked since the uprising began in March 2011. They declined to take up arms against the Syrian government and have instead focused on building autonomous governance in Kurdish-majority regions.

Syrian troops gain as Putin defends Russian strikes
By Sarah El Deeb and Lynn Berry | Monday, 12 October 2015

Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes advanced against insurgents in the center of the country as President Vladimir Putin defended Moscow's intervention in the conflict, saying it would aid efforts to reach a political settlement.
Putin said Moscow's objective was to stabilize the Syrian government and create conditions for a political compromise.
"When a division of international terrorists stands near the capital, then there is probably little desire for the Syrian government to negotiate, most likely feeling itself under siege in its own capital," he said in an interview with Russian state television broadcast on Sunday.

Shaam News Network, a group of anti-government activists, said several insurgent groups, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, have formed a joint operations room for activities in Hama and Idlib.
The Russian military said Sunday its jets had carried out 64 sorties in the past day, targeting 63 sites in the Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa provinces.

Daesh and Iran are helping each another to undermine our country
Kowther Al-Arbash, Saudi Gazette, 13-10-2015

For 26 years, Iran has harbored ambitions about the Two Holy Mosques, and was waiting for an opportunity.
Khomeini, before his death, said: “We will wash our people’s heartache by revenging against America and Al-Saud at the right time, God willing. We will fill their hearts with sorrow for this big crime. We will leave sweetness in the mouths of the martyrs’ families by holding a party to celebrate the triumph of truth and liberation of the Holy Kaaba from the hands of the sinners. We will liberate the Grand Mosque.”
But Khomeini knew very well that what he called liberating the Two Holy Mosques could not be achieved by force of arms nor with this jesting. He knew very well that he couldn’t invade Saudi territories, surround the Two Holy Mosques and occupy them...
So he had to find another weapon: harping on the sensitive strings of religion. It was necessary to camouflage the knife to appear as a rose, that is, to hide the ambitions of occupation behind religious issues that the public feelings — injustice, oppression, shirk (associating others with Allah) and others — to build a bridge leading to his ultimate goal of occupying the Two Holy Mosques. Khomeini passed away before finding the right opportunity, but the ambition is still there in the minds and hearts of Iranians...

Iran did not hesitate to present itself in place of the Kingdom, under any name, justification or occasion, even if drenched in blood. This was in the same way as it took advantage of Daesh’s brutality.
Iran presented itself as the dove of peace to the Mid-East, Arabs and the whole region! If Daesh is the cruelest and bloodiest model associated with Islam, then Iran is the cruelest opportunistic, hypocritical, and sycophantic model. Both of them — Daesh and Iran — are taking advantage of religion to influence the simple and the vulnerable. Although we cannot confirm their explicit understanding, both of them are helping each another according to an implicit agreement to undermine our country.

"The author of The Satanic Verses book which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Qu'ran, and all involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them wherever they find them, so that no one will dare to insult the Islamic sanctions. Whoever is killed on this path will be regarded as a martyr, God willing." Khomeini, fatwa against Salman Rushdie (14 February 1989)

"The ideology of Khomeinism shares many common characteristics with Wahhabism. Both fuse the state and religion into a single entity. Both use the bitterest terms to describe rivals. And both are authoritarian." M.D. Nalapat

Wahhabism Is Islam’s Greatest Threat
Mohamed Daadaoui,, January 10th, 2015

The greatest threat to Islam emanates from the relatively modern phenomenon of Wahhabism, a cancer that has been allowed to fester and metastasize for several centuries.

Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-91) advocated a return to the example of the Prophet and the salaf (companions of the Prophet) as a way to reform what he perceived at the time as a schism in Islam.
Ibn Abd al-Wahhab especially abhorred the popular cult of saints and idolatrous ritualistic practices at their tombs, which he believed cast divinity on humans and threatened Islam’s monotheism.
He opposed Sufism and Shi’sm as heretical innovations (bid’a). Most dangerously, Ibn Abd al-Wahab called on Muslims to reject the scholarly exegesis developed over the centuries by successive madhahib (schools of jurisprudence). This call undermined the religious authority wielded by scholars in the Muslim world, and would ultimately enable generations of self-proclaimed religious experts to interpret scriptures at will to fit their own political or individual interests.

For all of its reformist puritanical zeal, Wahhabism would have been relegated to a mere footnote in history, if it were not for a literal pact signed with the future founders of Saudi Arabia. Indeed, over the last several decades, Saudi Arabia has systematically financed and globalized Wahhabi, literalist interpretations of Islamic texts.
Wahhabism’s globalization has had profound effects on the rise of radical interpretations of Islam, outside the realm of learned theological hermeneutics. It has fueled extremists from Sayyid Qutb to Osama bin Laden to ISIS, who have variously claimed the mantle of radical Islamic reform and engaged in an extremist takfirist war (a war against so-called apostates).
This misguided and nefarious battle has, in turn, effectively bastardized the noble concept of greater jihad, as an inner struggle, and transformed it into a call for acts of terrorism.

The House of Islam vs the House of Unbelief

Wahhabi thought bifurcates the world into two antithetical parts: the House of Islam and the House of Unbelief. The former rests on a dogmatic, rigid understanding of Islamic theology. Wahhabi extremists proscribe violence against those in the realm of unbelief, in accordance with their radical interpretations of Islamic texts.
Muslims today must reject this bifurcation and tackle head on those literalist, extremist interpretations of Islam. Unlike what Ibn Abd al-Wahhab may argue, this task is not the responsibility of average Muslims, however. Rather it is the work of honest, brave, and learned scholars of Islam and Islamic theology.
In particular, passages in the Quran and Hadith, on war, apostasy, and violence, are in need of new, unequivocal interpretations to fit the modern social and political realities of Muslim-majority states.

The West & Wahabbism
BY M.D. Nalapat, Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University, 2012

The philosophy of Wahhabism – especially its extreme variants – remains a long-term security risk to the civilised world. In particular, through the spread of Wahhabi education in tens of thousands of religious schools across the globe, the practitioners of this creed are breeding tens of millions of youth who are certain to remain outside the productive economy, and as a consequence, seethe with resentment and anger against the rest of society...
Their philosophy and world-view make them the antithesis of the major thought systems in the West; yet sections of the Wahhabi fringe have shown dexterity in convincing key segments of Western opinion about the need to support them. This has usually been done by camouflaging their actual aims in a fog of talk about human rights, high ethical principles and self-determination.

The “Kashmir Model” (of using the language of democracy and human rights to win Western support, even while adhering to a contrary policy in practice) was widely used by the Libyan opposition to Muammar Gaddafi.
The Arab dictator was loathed by the monarchies of the Middle East, because of his often-expressed contempt for such rulers. Wahhabis hated him for the fact that he ran a secular administration, with no quarter given to such demands as the imposition of Sharia law or the banning of women’s dress other than the abaya.

Once he was defeated and killed, those who took over (as a result of generous help from Nicholas Sarkozy and David Cameron) have lost no time in imposing a Wahhabi version of Sharia law across the parts of Libya controlled by them, and in executing or jailing those who disagree with their extremist world-view.

Iran & Freedom of expression
Islamic Republic News Agency, 14-10-2015

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Hossein Noushabadi, was emphatic about Iran’s decision to withdraw from the fair and said the books, which were sent to the exhibition will be brought back.
Last week, organizers of the book fair announced that Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, would give the keynote address as guest speaker at the fair.
Rushdie’s 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ provoked global Muslim outrage and a fatwa calling for his death was issued by Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.
Iran had asked the organizers of the world’s largest event in the publishing industry to call off the plan to invite Rushdie. However, the fair’s director of press, corporate and communication, Katja Bohne, said there were no plans to cancel Rushdie’s speech, “given the significance of freedom of expression for authors and the book industry.”
The Frankfurt Book Fair supports freedom of expression, Bohne told the media, and added that the organizers “do not expect any country to withdraw from the book fair due to Rushdie’s speech.”
Juergen Boos, director of the fair, said in a statement: “We very much regret the Iranian Ministry of Culture’s cancellation and hope that it is just a brief interruption in the existing conversations and that we can continue to expand on the established relationships.

there is nothing (no man, no people, no book, no prophet) that could be compared with Him

Saudi Arabia & Freedom of expression
Yahoo|AFP - October 9, 2015

Riyadh - Saudi Arabia has summoned the Czech ambassador over a new translation of British writer Salman Rushdie's controversial book "Satanic Verses".
The kingdom wanted to express its "condemnation and disapproval of translating the book", which it considers offensive to Islam, and hopes Prague will stop publication of the work, the Saudi Press Agency quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official as saying. "The kingdom urged that religion and cultures not be insulted in any way or form," the report said.
But Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek told his country's CTK news agency: "We have no reason to interfere in any way because we have freedom of the press and expression."
In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa, or religious edict, that called for Rushdie to be killed. Khomeini and many others in the Muslim world said he had depicted Islam's Prophet Mohammed irreverently.
On Wednesday, Iran said it will boycott next week's Frankfurt Book Fair after organisers invited Rushdie, an atheist born to non-practising Muslims.

Geoffrey Robertson, The Guardian 2012:
The Satanic Verses is not blasphemous.

The book is a fictional story of two men, infused with Islam but confused by the temptations of the west. The first survives by returning to his roots. The other, Gibreel, poleaxed by his spiritual need to believe in God and his intellectual inability to return to the faith, finally kills himself. The plot, in short, is not an advertisement for apostasy.
Our opponents could in the end only allege six blasphemies in the book, and each one was based either on a misreading or on theological error:

- God is described in the book as "The Destroyer of Man".
- As He is similarly described in the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation, especially of men who are unbelievers or enemies of the Jews.

- The book contains criticisms of the prophet Abraham for his conduct towards Hagar and Ismael, their son.
- Abraham deserves criticism and is not seen as without fault in Islamic, Christian or Jewish traditions.

- Rushdie refers to Muhammad as "Mahoud". He called him variously "a conjuror", "a magician" and a "false prophet".
- Rushdie does nothing of the sort. These descriptions come from the mouth of a drunken apostate, a character with whom neither author nor reader has sympathy.

- The book grossly insults the wives of the Prophet by having whores use their names.
- This is the point. The wives are expressly said to be chaste, and the adoption of their names by whores in a brothel symbolises the perversion and decadence into which the city had fallen before it surrendered to Islam.

- The book vilifies the close companions of the Prophet, calling them "bums from Persia" and "clowns", whereas the Qur'an treats them as men of righteousness.
- These phrases are used by a depraved hack poet, hired to pen propaganda against the Prophet. They do not represent the author's beliefs.

What really is Important: The book criticises the teachings of Islam for containing too many rules and seeking to control every aspect of everyday life.
Characters in the book do make such criticisms, but they cannot amount to blasphemy because they do not vilify God...

Free-Mindedness Is A Divine Blessing

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

Ayatollah Khamenei added: respectful, wise, and fair talks based on scientific reasoning is among the ways to spread and consolidate free-mindedness. The universities and seminaries shoulder a heavy responsibility in this regard. (Teheran Times, 29-1-2003)

Moscow Satisfied With Russia-US Military Dialogue on Syria - Lavrov
Sputnik news, 13.10.2015

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is satisfied with the dialogue on Syria established with the United States through military channels, though regrets Washington's unwillingness to coordinate its anti-terrorism efforts with other actors in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
"We need to coordinate our steps. We are pleased that we have been able to develop a mechanism to avoid unintentional incidents through Russian and US military departments, but we are disappointed by the fact that the Americans, at least for now, cannot take the next step and begin to truly coordinate efforts with all those involved in the fight against terrorism on Syrian territory," Lavrov told reporters.

Russia is "all for" coordinating efforts with Syria's moderate opposition, including the Free Syrian Army, and is currently awaiting advice and contacts from the United States and other Western partners, Russian Foreign Minister said.
"As for coordination with the Syrian opposition, we are all for this. We have asked our partners for several days now to advice us on whom from the Syrian patriotic opposition, which rejects terrorist methods, we could establish contacts with. They promise to provide the relevant coordinates, we expect this to happen," Lavrov told reporters.

Lavrov, Kerry satisfied with work of military on Syria
TASS Russian News Agency, October 15, 2015

MOSCOW. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have expressed satisfaction with the work of the military of the two countries to harmonize security measures in Syria’s airspace in the context of anti-terrorist actions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said following telephone conversation between Lavrov and Kerry that took place on Thursday. The conversation was initiated by the American side.
"The two sides focused on the situation in Syria," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "They expressed satisfaction with the work of the Russian and US military to harmonize security measures in Syria's airspace in the context of anti-terrorist actions." According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov and Kerry agreed to continue contacts on various aspects of the Syrian settlement in accordance with the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012.

Russia counts on Turkey’s support in combating terrorism
TASS, 15-10-2015

MOSCOW. Russia counts on Turkey’s support in the fight against terrorism, Russian president’s special envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Thursday at the conference "Russia and Turkey: strengthening diverse cooperation."

"Coordinated efforts of all the interested parties are required for curbing international terrorism. The effectiveness of the airstrikes made by the Russian Aerospace Forces on the positions of terrorists with the simultaneous offensive mounted by the Syrian army show that the decisive fight against the global evil is possible and necessary," Bogdanov said. "Our antiterrorist strategy has been understood by a number of the region’s countries. We hope that the Turkish friends will render the corresponding support to us."

"The individual efforts of the moderate Syrian opposition, Kurdish militia groups to combat Islamic State with the help of key regional players can play a crucial role in the resistance to the terrorists," the diplomat said.
"At the same time we must not forget the need for continued international assistance to the efforts for finding a way to resolve the Syrian and other crises by political means. This should be done based on international law...

Lavrov: we are supporting central governments

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow established contacts with the Iraqi Kurds through the Iraqi government.
"As for Iraq, we have said more than once that when it is necessary to support the joint efforts of the central government of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan in the fight against terrorism, we are doing that with consent of and through the Iraqi government," Lavrov said. "The developments have shown only one thing: all who are combating terrorism should gather together."
He said on Wednesday, commenting on Turkey’s commenting on Turkey’s statements that Moscow allegedly supplies weapons to Kurds in Syria that Russia was rendering military support to the governments of Syria and Iraq in the fight against terrorists.
"We are rendering support in the fight against terrorism in the military-technical cooperation sphere to central governments of, in particular, Iraq and Syria," Lavrov said.

Palestinians exist in a completely different reality
They are living the “Arab Spring”
By Ben Caspit, Jerusalem Post, 15-10-2015

Ariel Sharon: Zionism is eternal war

The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, was the second Palestinian uprising against Israel – a period of intensified Israeli-Palestinian violence. It started in September 2000, when Ariel Sharon made a visit to the Temple Mount, seen by Palestinians as highly provocative; and Palestinian demonstrators, throwing stones at police, were dispersed by the Israeli army, using tear gas and rubber bullets.

Netanyahu is dividing Jerusalem. This, in fact, is what is happening when the cabinet decides to impose a “breathing closure” on Jerusalem’s eastern neighborhoods and builds a buffer between them and us...
If the situation continues to worsen, Israel will consider imposing a curfew. In the end we’ll have to weigh bringing back a military government. Other solutions? There aren’t any.

What we are facing is a broadscale grassroots phenomenon – viral, unexpected, immeasurable, and out of control. Not even 1,000 Mahmoud Abbases could put an end to it.
Those Palestinians – some of them youngsters – who are attacking us with axes and pitchforks, exist in a completely different reality from ours.
Their drive is different from ours; they are living the “Arab Spring” that flooded regimes, boundaries and states, to become the “Arab Fall” that is now flooding the streets from Jerusalem to Ra’anana, and storming the fence separating Israel from Gaza.

At the beginning of this decade, we were warned of a “political tsunami” that is liable to be followed by a tsunami of violence in the region.
Prophesies of doom were proven false and nothing happened. We continued our lives as usual, sanctifying the status quo, living the good life, convinced that everything is just fine. Now everything is blowing up all around us.
Jerusalem has been fermenting for two years. Over the last year, the fermentation has become explosive and violent. All the writing has been smeared in big red letters on the walls, but our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has done nothing.
The Palestinians are incited – brainwashed with hate and fantasies. Not only are they behaving like barbarians, they are also telling lies and calling murderers martyrs.
We know all this. The trouble is that we ignore our own part in the deterioration. We are turning a blind eye to the role of the messianic right, which is talking in a loud voice about building a third Temple on the Temple Mount...

Flashback: Zionism & The Arab Spring
"Every Arab conflict is in Israel’s interest"
Linda S. Heard, Arab News (Saudi Arabia), 1-7-2014

On June 22, in reference to the crisis in Iraq, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “When your enemies are fighting each other, don’t strengthen either one of them - weaken both.”
"Every Arab conflict is in Israel’s interest", was expressed by Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist attached to the Foreign Ministry, in a 1982 paper titled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen-Eighties”.
Splitting-up the Arab world into bite-sized toothless entities is a staple of neoconservative philosophy. One of the blueprints for rearranging the territorial deckchairs was a document titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” drawn-up in 1996, by three of George W. Bush’s neocon national security advisers, was designed to benefit Israel’s existential concerns. It advises Israel of the need to destabilize the region so as to “shape its strategic environment” by bringing down Saddam and rolling back Syria....

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

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy said that “it is as a Jew“ that he “participated in the political adventure in Libya,” in the first National Convention organized by the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations of France (CRIF).
“I would not have done if I had not been Jewish,” said the philosopher, before an audience of nearly 900 people, meeting in Paris, adding: “I wore my flag in fidelity to my name and my loyalty to Zionism and Israel.“
Invited to speak on this subject, Bernard-Henri Levy, who published a book its action in Libya, explained the reasons which led to eight months ago to engage in the fight against the regime of Colonel Gaddafi, who was killed Oct. 20 last by the rebels near the NTC.
“I find it sometimes come to be proud to be French “ ”What I did during those few months, I’ve done for many reasons. First as French...“
“I did it for reasons even more important” , he said: “the belief in the universality of human rights (…). I am among those who have always been tempted to stand in support of victims.”
“There is another reason which little has been said, but on which I have yet many extended: that public, which has never let go is that I was Jewish..."
”I would not have done if I had not been Jewish,“ he said. “Like all Jews of the world, I was worried”
What I have done all these months, I did as a Jew. And like all Jews of the world, I was worried . Despite the legitimate anxiety is an uprising to be welcomed with favor, we were dealing with one of the worst enemies of Israel. “ (Page 17, 2012)

Those of us, who naively imagined the neoconservatives were hiding somewhere burying their heads in shame at their failed ideology, were wrong. They’re back, doing the media rounds and being listened to as though they have a panacea for the violence crippling the Middle East....

Zawahiri 2012: "Jihad in the cause of Allah"


Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has recently urged Muslims inside and outside of Syria to take up arms against the Syrian government. In a statement issued on Feb. 11 Zawahiri said:
"I appeal to every Muslim and every free, honorable one in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, to rise to help his brothers in Syria with all what he can, with his life, money, wonders, opinion, and information."
He exhorted the "lions of the Levant" to "develop the intention of jihad in the Cause of Allah to establish a state that defends the Muslim countries... (www.longwarjournal, 2012)

Why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the Syrian government?
By Patrick J. Buchanan, July 02, 2014

Barack Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to train and arm rebels of the Free Syrian Army who seek to overthrow the government.
Syria has not attacked us. Syria does not threaten us. Why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the Syrian government?
President Bashar Assad is fighting against the al Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and the even more extreme and vicious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
In training and arming the FSA, we are enlisting in a cause where our foremost fighting allies are Islamists, like those who brought down the twin towers, and a Sunni terrorist army that seeks to bring down the government we left behind in Baghdad. What are we doing?
Have we not before us, in Libya, an example of what happens when we bring down an autocrat like Gadhafi, and even worse devils are unleashed?

Colour revolutions ignited chaos in Middle East
TASS Russian News Agency, October 17, 2015

BEIJING, October 17: Current chaos in the Middle East is a direct effect of colour revolutions and attempts to dictate one’s own will to countries in the region, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told the 6th Xiangshan Security Forum.
"The chaos that we observe in the Middle East these days is a direct consequence of the colour revolutions, intervention in the affairs of sovereign states and attempts to make them bow to somebody else’s will. Russian President Vladimir Putin has more than once declared the firm stance it was utterly unacceptable to try to handle internal political problems of countries through outside intervention, including government coups, anti-constitutional actions and illegal ousting of legitimate authorities," Antonov said.

"The colour revolution scenario in Ukraine has caused irreparable tragedies in a fraternal country where thousands of civilians have been killed. Russia shares a common history, centuries’ long friendship and cooperation with Ukraine and it is interested in the prompt restoration of peace and stability there like anyone else," Antonov said.
He also said that intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states, including connivance with radical forces, did not only destabilize individual countries and regions, but added to the conflict potential the world over and made international terrorist organizations more active.

"The vacuum that emerges after the erosion of state power begins to be filled by extremists and terrorists... Terrorism attracts all sorts of militants like a magnet. They roam from country to country. They have no country of their own, no honor and no dignity," Antonov said.
"Not a single country has the immunity against this global evil and millions of people fall victim to the terrorist rampage. We must unite to defat this evil".

Zionism & the decadence of Judaism
Jeremy Salt, Palestine Chronicle, 17-10-2015

The ultimate source of the rage and hatred on full display in Israel is ideology.
Any ideology based on marginalization or discrimination must lead to where Zionism has led. The obverse of ‘this land is ours’ is that ‘this land is not theirs.’ The arguments are built up generation after generation. ‘God gave us this land. It was empty when we came. We made it bloom. We did not drive the Arabs out. They ran away. We did not start the wars. They did. Their infiltrators and terrorists just want to kill us because we are Jews. The problem is not occupation. Anyway, what are they talking about when they speak of ‘occupation’? This is our land. God gave it us …..’ It does not matter to many if not most Jewish Israelis that the rest of the world regards the territories seized in 1967 as occupied and believes that the occupation is the cause of violence. They endlessly repeat the claim that ‘the Arabs’ want to kill them just because they are Jews...

As the government of Israel describes itself as Jewish, as it describes the state as Jewish, as the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlers describe themselves first and foremost as Jews, as the tanks and planes attacking Gaza are embossed with the star of David, as the same symbol is scrawled on the walls of Gaza and the walls of the West Bank, it is hardly surprising that many Palestinians have come to see Jews per se as the enemy.
Of course, this is what the Netanyahu government wants the world to believe: it is Jews who are under threat and not Zionists who have taken the land and usurped the rights of another people...

Zionism remains a state-building ideology. Compassion is a weakness and there can be no possibility of pity for the Palestinians until they have been comprehensively and absolutely defeated.
Like the indigenous people of the United States, only when the Palestinians have been reduced to an atomized ethnic minority will it be safe to admit the ‘mistakes’ of the past and acknowledge the crimes of the forefathers. As the events of the past few weeks have shown, even after nearly seven decades since the establishment of Israel this point is still far from being reached.
What Moshe Menuhin, the father of Yehudi, called ‘the decadence of Judaism in our time’ more than half a century ago, continues unabated.

Jeremy Salt is an associate professor of Middle Eastern history and politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He contributed this article to

Moshe Menuhin:
Jewish Nationalism: A Monstrous Historical Crime and Curse

Moshe Menuhin was born in Russia in 1893 to a distinguished, religious Jewish family. When the family moved to Palestine, Moshe was sent to Orthodox Jewish schools, first to Yeshivas in Jerusalem, then to the nationalistic Hebrew Gymnasia Herzelia in Jaffa-Tel Aviv.
In 1913 (at age 20), he went to the United States to complete his higher education, attending New York University where he studied mathematics, political science, and education.

Moshe Menuhin: "What I felt sixty years ago when I joined the Zionist movement is essentially what I feel today. I have joined this national movement because it was not called 'Jewish' nationalism but Zionism ...
I believed that this nationalism would not go the way of all others - beginning with a great hope and then deteriorating, decaying, becoming a collective egoism, even daring, like Mussolini, to call itself a sacro egoismo as if collective egoism could be more sacred than the egoism of any individual...

When we returned to Palestine, the decisive question was, do we want to come there as an ally, as a friend, as a brother, as a member of the coming community of the peoples of the Near East, or as the representative of colonialism and imperialism?
The majority of the Jewish people preferred to learn from Hitler rather than from us . . . Hitler showed that history does not go the way of the spirit but the way of power, and if a people is powerful enough, it can kill with impunity . . . This is the situation that we had to fight...

I have always hoped that one day a miraculous reawakening of the Jew in Israel will take place... Somehow I dream and hope of compunction seizing the hearts of the Jewish people, and that the Jews will become again just Jews, not "Jewish" nationalists.
I still dream to this day of a regenerated Jewish spiritual and moral renaissance and a return to the true God of the people of Israel, away from the ideas of the modern Joshuas: Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Menachem Begin, Golda Meir and company . .

As I come to the end of the road, past eighty years of age, Jewish questions torture me day and night: how can the scholarly, wise, old, civilized, ethical and humane Jews lose their heads and their three thousand year old evolved and innate wisdom to embrace the materialistic and bloody pagan ideals of predatory political nationalism?
Will today's Zionist Israel awaken from yesterday's long dreams and schemes about a Great Jewish Empire, made safe by an ever militaristically subverted people, financed by ignorant and brain-washed Jews in the U.S.A., Canada and England? (source)

His book "The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time"

Driven by a strong sense of duty and anxious to preserve the spirituality and universality of Judaism, Moshe Menuhin decided to record his conclusions in this book. A protest against the identification of Judaism with Zionism, Moshe Menuhin's work propounds the theme that Judaism as a faith must not be equated with a national movement. Any indiscriminate mixture of the two can result only in the corruption and decay of Judaism.

Selected Preface Excerpts
I have entitled this book The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time, but I almost prefer an earlier title, "Jewish" Nationalism: A Monstrous Historical Crime and Curse. Please take your choice. Both titles mean the same thing to me.
I have reached the age and stage in life... (in 1969 he was 76) which an intellectually honest, free and independent man is moved by an inner compulsion to stand up and bear testimony to the beliefs, convictions and conclusion of a lifetime.
As a conscientious Jew, I feel it necessary to set forth my views on Jewish history after studying and observing for many years the lofty and dignified Judaistic past of pure ethics, philosophy and religion, on the one hand, and the current decadent, tragic and revolting perversion of it into boisterous "Jewish" nationalism (Judaism turned into rampant Israelism) on the other.
I serve nobody's interests, and I am paid by no one... Yet, though I carefully and honestly stick to facts, I know that I am bound to antagonise the fanatical and professional idealists among the "Jewish" nationalists...

Slifing towards an ultra-nationalist, racist, religious society
Uri Avnery, 17/10/2015

ISRAELI DEMOCRACY is sliding downwards. Sliding slowly, comfortably, but unmistakably.
Sliding where? Everybody knows that: towards an ultra-nationalist, racist, religious society.
Who is leading the ride? The government? Not really. Perhaps the right-wing mob? It is not consistent. It cannot build a new system.
No, there is only one group in the country that is strong enough, cohesive enough, determined enough to take over the state: the settlers.

Before the founding of the State of Israel, the Jewish community in Palestine (called "the Yishuv") was ruled by the Labor Party, which was dominated by the secular, socialist Kibbutzim...
In the new state, the Kibbutzim have become a mere shadow of themselves, and the central cities have become the centers of civilization, envied and even hated by the periphery. That was the situation until recently. It is now changing rapidly.
ON THE morrow of the 1967 Six-Day War, a new Israeli phenomenon raised its head: the settlements in the newly occupied Palestinian territories. Their founders were "national-religious" youth.
The conquest of the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem and all the other biblical sites filled them with religious fervor. From being a marginal minority, they became a powerful driving force.
They created the settlers' movement and set up many dozens of new towns and villages throughout the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
With the energetic help of all successive Israeli governments, both left and right, they grew and prospered. While the leftist "peace camp" degenerated and withered, they spread their wings.

The "national-religious" party, once one of the most moderate forces in Israeli politics, turned into the ultra-nationalist, almost fascist "Jewish Home" party. The settlers also became a dominant force in the Likud party. They now control the government. Avigdor Lieberman, a settler, leads an even more rightist party, in nominal opposition. The star of the "center", Yair Lapid, founded his party in the Ariel settlement and now talks like an extreme rightist. Yitzhak Herzog, the leader of the Labor Party, tries feebly to emulate them.
All of them now use settler-speak. They no longer talk of the West Bank, but use the settler language: "Judea and Samaria".

Of course, not all settlers are fanatics. Many of them went to live in a settlement because the government gave them, almost for nothing, a villa and garden they could not even dream of in Israel proper. Many of them are government employees with good salaries.
But even these "comfort" settlers become extremists, in order to survive and defend their homes, while people in Tel Aviv enjoy their cafes and theaters.

Musical Hair
Tel Aviv, Cameri Theatre, 5-3-2015

Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the "Age of Aquarius" living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War.
Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society.

We aim to expand the Jewish settlements
in Judea and Samaria

Former Yesha Council Chairman Dani Dayan commented on figures presented by the Interior Ministry, which noted Thursday that almost 400,000 Israeli Jews now live in the region.
"In my period [as Yesha Council Chairman] the population grew by 35%, and the growth does not stop, on the contrary," he continued.
"The international community understands that there will not be a Palestinian state here..."
We aim to expand the existing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and create new ones. This is not — as it is often portrayed — a theological adventure but is rather a combination of inalienable rights and realpolitik. (Arutz Sheva, 2-1-2015)

Traditionally, Aquarius is associated with electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealism, modernization, astrology, nervous disorders, rebellion, nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverance, humanity, and irresolution.
Many astrologers consider the appearance of many of these Aquarian developments over the last few centuries indicative of the proximity of the Aquarian age.

Give terrorism a united fight
Qaiser Mutawea, Saudi Gazette, 19-10-2015

IT is evident that Daesh and other terrorist organizations have their origins in Al-Qaeda.
Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the current leader of Al-Qaeda, was earlier a leader of Islamic Jihad. This extremist outfit merged with Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda in 1998 while Osama was hiding in Afghanistan.
After the merger of the two terror outfits, a new front called “World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders” was formed. The front was founded with the concept of fighting the close and distant enemy, and its priority was to fight the close enemy. In the beginning, the close enemy was the Soviet government in Afghanistan, and then the governments of some Arab and Islamic countries. Later, their target was the distant enemy, represented by the United States.

Syria - Aleppo - 2012

It is unfortunate that several young men, most of them in their early age, have joined the terror outfit. These youths have been instigated by their “mentors” to engage in terror acts including killing and destruction, either by targeting civilians at public places or killing security personnel.
We have witnessed several terror attacks over the past few years and the victims were innocent people. They were brutally killed by the terrorists who belonged to their own nationality. The Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of two foreigners who had turned their house into a booby-trapped hideout for making explosives in Riyadh city. The house was virtually turned into an integrated plant for manufacturing bombs and vests and belts that can be detonated...
This obviously shows the fact that Daesh and other terror outfits have taken the battle once again to the home ground.... They are supposed to have plans to carry out attacks with an ulterior design of undermining the Kingdom’s security.

We have to be vigilant against any suspicious acts that are noticed around us and there won’t be any hesitation to inform the concerned authorities about this, even if the offender is anyone closer to us or related to us. We should realize the fact that all of us are targeted by these deviant groups and anyone of us could be the victim of such cowardly attacks.

Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria are serious in their fight
Sputnik 19-10-2015

"These two evil forces at each others' throats means they have less opportunity to aggress on the rest of the world."
"If we want to be strategic, help the losing side - so neither side wins."
Daniel Pipes (Zionist), 9-9-2015

The resolute actions of Russia and Iran against the Islamic State terrorists in Syria have boosted the morale of Iraqi troops, a senior Iraqi commander said.
"The quadrilateral coalition formed by Iraq, Iran, Russia and Syria has resulted in helping the Iraqi forces to keep their spirits high because the alliance members are serious in their fight against the terrorists," SNA quoted Iraqi Volunteer Forces Commander Hassan al-Sari as saying.
The military figure emphasized that the Russia-led team “is fighting against the ISIL on behalf of the whole world" while the US had played no role in the recent victories against the terrorists.

Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq established a joint information center in Baghdad aimed at coordinating efforts against ISIL.
Since September 30, Russia has been delivering airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria upon the request of the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad, in keeping with UN principles. These actions helped the Syrian Army to counterattack the terrorists and liberate some territories.

Kerry & Washington's Responsibility
Arutz Sheva 19-10-2015

The United States is working to avoid the "total destruction" of Syria, and plans a meeting in the coming days with Russian, Saudi and Turkish leaders to seek an end to the conflict, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
Washington feels that it bears the responsibility "to try and avoid the complete and total destruction of Syria", fearing the potential fallout across the region and a possible surge in migration, Kerry said on a stop in Madrid. He was quoted by AFP.
Moscow is aware of Kerry’s initiative to meet with representatives from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan to discuss the situation in Syria, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday: “We know about this proposal, and we’re looking into it,” the diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

Kerry also spoke Monday about the terror surge in Israel: "We want to see calm restored and we want to see violence stop," Kerry said in Madrid. He confirmed he would meet in the coming days with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas.
"We continue to urge everybody to exercise restraint," Kerry told reporters at a joint press conference with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo.

Everyone wrote off the Syrian army.
Take another look now
By Robert Fisk, 18-10-2015 "Information Clearing House" - "The Independent"

While the world still rages on at Russia’s presumption in the Middle East – to intervene in Syria instead of letting the Americans decide which [Arab leaders] should survive or die – we’ve all been forgetting the one institution in that Arab land which continues to function and protect the state which Moscow has decided to preserve: the Syrian army. While Russia has been propagandising its missiles, the Syrian military, undermanned and undergunned a few months ago, has suddenly moved on to the offensive. Earlier this year, we may remember, this same army was being written off, the Bashar al-Assad government said to be reaching its final days.
We employed our own army of clichés to make the case for regime change. The Syrian army was losing ground – at Jisr al-Shugour and at Palmyra – and so we predicted that the whole Assad state had reached a “tipping point”.

Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij (picture at the right) stressed that the Syrian Army had managed to stand in the face of Takfiri terrorism and colonial projects, offering great examples in sacrifice and heroism that will be remembered by generations to come. (4-8-2015)

Then along came Vladimir Putin with his air and missile fleets and suddenly the whole place is transformed. While we huffed and puffed that the Russians were bombing the “moderate” rebels – moderates who had earlier ceased to exist according to America’s top generals – we’ve been paying no attention to the military offensive which the Syrians themselves are now staging against the Nusra Front fighters around Aleppo and in the valley of the Orontes...
The Syrians were originally anxious to move back into Palmyra, captured by Isis last May, but the Russians have demonstrated more interest in the Aleppo region, partly because they believe their coastal bases around Lattakia are vulnerable. The Nusra Front has fired several missiles towards Lattakia and Tartous and Moscow has no desire to have its air force targeted on the ground. But the Syrian army is now deploying its four major units – the 1st and 4th Divisions, Republican Guards and Special Forces – on the battle fronts and are moving closer to the Turkish border...
If it wins – and if it holds together and if its manpower, which is admittedly at a low level, can be maintained – then the Syrian military is going to come out of this current war as the most ruthless, battle-trained and battle-hardened Arab army in the entire region. Woe betide any of its neighbours who forget this.

American Hypocrisy: News reporting or government propaganda?
By Juan Cole | Oct. 20, 2015

I just watched the 5 pm news hour on CNN anchored by Wolf Blitzer, and the editors had clearly decided that the lead was that Russian bombing in south Aleppo risks creating a new wave of refugees. They also stuck to the cover story that the Russians are only attacking the “moderate rebels”.
American bombing of populated areas has never been reported in that way on mainstream cable news... Nor did CNN lead with civilian casualties when it covered Israeli PM Netanyahu’s bombardment of defenseless little Gaza in summer of 2014.
Russian bombing of populated areas, like all such bombing, is killing civilians, of course. The point isn’t that CNN is wrong but that it is selective.

There are lots of small rebel groups in the hinterlands of Homs, Hama and Aleppo and in Idlib province who are not al-Qaeda. However, these groups are small and not very effective fighters, and have been forced to ally with al-Qaeda to avoid being killed by the Syrian Arab Army and in hopes of taking more territory.
Moreover, the amount of Syrian territory now held by rebels who want democratic elections and full legal equality for all Syrians would be in my estimation zero percent. Almost all Syrian rebels now want a society ruled by sharia or a hard line medieval notion of Islamic law.
(Sharia itself, as private practice and individual choice, is as inoffensive as Jewish Halakha or Roman Catholic canon law; but making a fundamentalist interpretation of it the basis for national law is a whole set of human rights crimes waiting to happen).

So why is it objectionable that Russia is attacking an organization reporting to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who killed nearly 3,000 Americans in 2011? Or that Russia is attacking groups that have political or tactical alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria? Wouldn’t that make them like the Taliban in Afghanistan? Is the US wrong to bomb the latter, on the grounds that they are allied with al-Qaeda?
And how can the same news hour report positively on the killing by American bombing of al-Qaeda’s al-Nasr and slam the Russians for bombing . . . al-Qaeda?
This isn’t news reporting. This is government propaganda.

Flashback: Al Nusrah Front, allies form new coalition for battle in Aleppo
By Thomas Joscelyn | Long War Journal July 3, 2015

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and allied organizations have formed a new coalition for the battle of Aleppo.
The alliance calls itself Ansar al Sharia, a name used by other al Qaeda groups in the Middle East and North Africa. Along with a founding statement, the new grouping has released a short video announcing its establishment. A screen shot from the video can be seen above.
In addition to Al Nusrah, Ansar al Sharia includes one dozen other named groups. Ahrar al Sham and Ansar al Din, both of which are tied to al Qaeda’s international network, are members of the coalition.
A group called Ansar al Khilafah (“Supporters of the Caliphate”) has joined Ansar al Sharia as well. An organization by the same name was founded in December 2012, when five brigades, including one named the Ansar al Sharia Brigade, merged.
The other named members of Ansar al Sharia include the Mujahideen al Islam Movement and the Al Tawhid Wal Jihad Brigade (which has fought alongside Al Nusrah and its allies in the past), as well as other brigades.

Ansar al Sharia in Aleppo is the latest in a series of coalitions formed this year that include Al Nusrah and Ahrar al Sham. Coalitions including the Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al Sham are:

- Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) in the Idlib province was the first such coalition formed this year. In addition to Al Nusrah and Ahrar al Sham, the original founding organizations of Jaysh al Fateh included Jund al Aqsa, Liwa al Haqq, Jaysh al Sunna, Ajnad al Sham, and Faylaq al Sham. The Long War Journal has identified Jund al Aqsa as as front organization for al Qaeda. Other groups joined Jaysh al Fateh in Idlib as well.
- Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) Qalamoun was formed in early May to fight Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group that supports Bashar al Assad’s regime, and the Islamic State.
- Jaysh al Haramun (“Army of Haramun”) was formed in mid-June and is named for Mount Haramun, which is part of a mountain range sandwiched between Syria, Lebanon and the Israeli-controlled portion of the Golan Heights.
One of Jaysh al Haramun’s first statements was addressed to the residents in Druze villages. The coalition seeks to keep the Druze on the sidelines and not force them into an open alliance with the Assad regime. This was especially important after Al Nusrah Front fighters in northern Syria massacred 20 Druze civilians.
- Jaysh al Fateh (“Army of the Conquest”) in the South was founded on June 20 as an alternative to the Southern Front, which is comprised of various FSA factions. As with the other coalitions, Al Nusrah and Ahrar al Sham are founding members.

Aleppo Souk - Before & After

Russia-Iran ties warm over Syria: marriage of convenience or lasting alliance?
Antoun Issa, The National, october 20, 2015

The latest offensive in Aleppo led by president Bashar Al Assad’s forces marks the first military cooperation between Russia and Iran in recent history. Syria’s civil war has dramatically improved ties between Moscow and Tehran, and could lay the foundations of a lasting Russian-Iranian alliance in the Middle East.
But such an outcome is not a certainty, given the complexities of historical relations between Russia and Iran, and the differences in their approaches to the Syrian conflict.
While both powers see Mr Al Assad’s survival as essential to their interests, they – as do other regional players – see in the Syrian arena an opportunity to expand their own influence in the strategically pivotal country.
Prior to the current collaborative effort, both countries largely pursued independent strategies in Syria, and have worked with Mr Al Assad bilaterally.
The Kremlin has repeatedly justified its support for the Assad regime as necessary to prevent the collapse of the Syrian state. Russian president Vladimir Putin maintained that line in New York last month, when he warned Syria could end up a failed state and a haven for terrorists should the Assad regime fall.
Russia’s support for Mr Al Assad has, thus, been aimed at strengthening the Syrian state, chiefly the army. It has been the main supplier of weapons and ammunition to the Syrian army throughout the course of the four-year civil war, and its maintenance of Russian-made aircraft has enabled the Syrian air force to continue operations.

The Syrian army is Russia’s main pillar of influence in the country. No other power understands the Syrian army as intimately as the Russians do. Syrian generals and commanders have been receiving training in Russia for decades, and Moscow has been the largest supplier of military hardware to the Syrian army since the 1960s.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, up until 2011, Russia accounted for 48 per cent of Syria’s total arms imports, with Moscow’s close ally and neighbour Belarus supplying another 20 per cent.
A post-war settlement that ensures the Syrian army remains the only legitimate and most powerful force on the ground will ensure the Kremlin’s continued influence in the country. The army’s survival is at the core of the repeated statements by Russian leaders on the need to preserve the Syrian state.


Conversely, the Iranians have sought to bypass the state apparatus to expand their foothold in the country. In line with Iranian policy throughout the Middle East, Tehran has invested most of its efforts in building, training and arming pro-Assad militias, chiefly the National Defence Forces (NDF).
Some analysts believe Iran has built up the militias as a backup plan should the Assad regime fall. However, Tehran’s continued support for militias is in fact undermining Mr Al Assad’s rule.
A report by the Carter Center warns the growing power of militias signals a further “decentralisation of state authority” and “could lead to a growth in warlordism” – quite the opposite to Russia’s objectives in Syria.

Russian analyst Maxim Suchkov last year characterised Russian-Iranian ties as “compelled adversaries, pragmatic pals”.
That distrust is mutual. Iranian analyst Bijan Khajehpour noted that some in Tehran view Moscow’s improved relationship with Iran as “opportunistic rather than geopolitical”.
Such mutual suspicion has plagued Russian-Iranian relations for the past two centuries, but a paper last week in the Georgetown Security Studies Review argued the two powers have put such historical enmity behind them and are determined to make this relationship work.

Putin Meets Assad for Talks in Moscow
FARS news agency, 20-10-2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin have held talks in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman said. Dmitry Peskov announced that Assad informed Putin about the situation in Syria and the plans of government forces, RT reported.
"Yesterday evening Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Moscow for a working visit," Peskov said. The two leaders conducted lengthy negotiations, which then continued in the presence of Russia’s top policymakers.
"The agenda of the negotiations is clearly understandable. President [Putin] was informed in detail by his Syrian counterpart about the current state of affairs in Syria and the long-range plan," the Kremlin spokesman added.
Vladimir Putin said that the Syrian people have been confronting terrorists “practically single-handedly” for years, withstanding considerable casualties. Lately, they have achieved serious and positive results in this fight, he added.

The terrorists’ attempts to destabilize the situation in the Middle East arouse deep concern in Russia because “unfortunately, people from the former Soviet republics, at least 4,000 of them, are fighting against the Syrian army,” the Russian leader said. "Naturally, we cannot allow them to appear on Russian territory with all the combat experience and ideological brainwashing they have gone through."
Syria is a country friendly to Russia, and Moscow is ready not only to assist with fighting terrorism, but also in reaching a peaceful political settlement to the Syrian conflict in cooperation with other global and regional powers, Putin said. “The decisive word, without any doubt, must belong solely to the Syrian people,” President Putin stressed.
Assad thanked Russia for the support provided to Syria in fighting for its sovereignty and unity.
"Terrorists would have occupied far greater territories if it were not for Russia’s military assistance,” President Assad said, adding that political steps are due to follow military action. "The only aim for all of us should be what the Syrian people want as a future for their country," he underlined...

The 'moderate' opposition: KILL HIM, The Baath-regime is heritical

Safafist Al-Arour, Saudi preacher Al-Qarni, Egypt Brotherhood cleric Higazi, Qatar-based preacher Qaradawi

August 22, 2011: Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars — Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi issues fatwa calling Assad regime “heretical”

It is a duty to condemn the murders, torture, and imprisonments carried out by the Syrian regime, and to rule that the Ba’ath regime is heretical for its words and actions. It is forbidden to collude with the Syrian regime or to support its actions. He who does [so is] aiding the oppressor, and is an oppressor himself.
Every ambassador of the Syrian regime must resign his position. He cannot continue [to be a part] of this oppressive regime. It is a duty to sever [all] official ties — political, financial, cultural, and in the domain of media — with the Syrian regime.

Amir-Abdollahian: Iran, Russia, Syria in full coordination in fighting ISIL
Mehr News, Wed 21 October 2015

TEHRAN, Oct. 21 (MNA) – Iranian deputy FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tue. there is full coordination between Iran, Russia and Syria in the fight against the ISIL terrorist group in the war-ravaged Arab country. He made the remarks in an event hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations in London on Tuesday.
The Iranian senior diplomat dismissed the idea of a short-term cooperation between Iran and Russia limited only to Syrian crisis, adding “Tehran-Moscow relations are sustainable and strategic; we are also pursuing the same level of ties with European countries.”

Noting that Russia is targeting ISIL and all factions related to this militant group and Al-Qaeda in Syria, Amir-Abdollahian stressed that it is of utmost importance to Tehran and Moscow that Syrian people as well as any other opposition groups apart from terrorists not be hurt during the campaigns against ISIL.
It is not true that Russia is advancing in Syria through air support and Iran on the ground; we have no fighting troops deployed in Syria. Iran merely gives the Syrian government necessary consultations in regard to the fight against terrorism,” said Amir-Abdollahian, adding Iran has increased the number of its military advisors in Syria. Our efforts currently are aimed at restoring peace and security to Syria for a free and secure elections in that country, he added.
The Iranian official further stressed that while Russia’s air campaign is necessary for the eradication of terrorism, the ultimate solution to Syria’s crisis is through political strategies.

Abbas: I don't want to be a quisling
Elior Levy, YNet News, 22-10-2015

'Netanyahu is the only one in the world who is responsible for this situation,' accuses Tanzim head Adnan Gaith. 'Abbas believes in peace, but he doesn't and will not believe in being a soldier protecting Israel's borders.'


A quisling is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. The word originates from the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling, who headed a domestic Nazi collaborationist regime during the Second World War.

Vidkun Quisling, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Terboven, and Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, 1941

In contemporary usage, quisling is synonymous with traitor, and particularly applied to politicians who appear to favour the interests of other nations or cultures over their own.

The head of Fatah's militant wing Tanzim said on Thursday that the Palestinian leadership cannot control and does not have the ability to stop the escalating violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
"Not Abbas and not anyone else can control this situation as long as Benjamin Netanyahu continues giving his soldiers permission to kill people and operate at al-Aqsa mosque," Adnan Aith told Ynet.
Aith is the head of Fatah's organizational branch in East Jerusalem, and has control over different flashpoints in the Palestinian neighborhoods, where residents heed his orders. He is a rising star in the Palestinian leadership... In an interview with Ynet at his office in the village of Al-Ram in East Jerusalem, Aith warned that Israel and the Palestinians were on a slippery slope, and that no one could foresee how it would end: "No one can control what's happening, and it's only going to get worse." ...
He claimed that as long as Israel is trigger happy when it comes to the Palestinians; there is ongoing violation of the status quo at the al-Aqsa mosque; and young Palestinians witness women on the Temple Mount being dragged away by security forces - the unrest will continue...

The Palestinians, he said, would only calm down if the two sides make a significant diplomatic move that would lead to the formation of a Palestinian state.

"What did all the (Israeli) governments want from the Palestinian Authority over the past few years?
That it keeps controlling the territories it's already in, for the situation to remain as it is and for Abbas to keep protecting Israel's borders (via security cooperation between PA and Israel - EL).
That will never happen. Abbas is a man who believes in peace, but he doesn't and will not believe in being a soldier protecting Israel's borders.Those who think that are majorly mistaken."

The interviews with A'it sparked anger in right-wing circles over the state-funded radio's presenting a free platform for a top terrorist to present his views on why terror against Israelis is a good idea.
“Instead of arresting him they give him center stage to espouse his hate and terror,” said one right-wing activist. “Then we wonder why they feel confident and safe enough to carry out their attacks.” Arutz Sheva, 22-10-2015

US foreign policy: Zionism = God - Anti-Zionism = The Devil
James Zogby: "We need a real debate", Ahram Weekly 22-10-2015

For decades, I have followed the presidential debates, hoping against hope that either the candidates or the media personalities who question them would provoke a serious discussion about key Middle East issues...
When foreign policy was discussed at all, it was limited to either exaggerated expressions of love for Israel' or contempt for Barack Obama’s “weakness” and what was mistakenly referred to as “his” Iran deal.

Carly Fiorina, for example, pledged that “on day one in the Oval Office” her first phone call would be “to my good friend Bibi [Binyamin Netanyahu] to reassure him that we will stand with the state of Israel [i.e. Zionism].”
Ted Cruz promised to “cancel the Iran deal and move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.” Others denounced President Obama’s “weakness” and pledged their support for a tougher approach in Syria...
Democrats also have a problem. For too long its political leaders have ignored dealing with the uncomfortable complexities of the Middle East because it simply didn’t serve any political advantage to know about Arabs and Muslims. All they had to know was that America had an “unbreakable bond with Israel (i.e. Zionism]”,

Seeing the Arab world through this lens led too many politicians to either remain ignorant of Middle East realities or, if they did know, to shy away from elevating these issues into the national debate.
As a result, Democrats can debate the use of military force but are either uncomfortable with or averse to questioning Israeli policies or the treatment of Palestinians, or discussing the political dynamics that shape Arab political realities, or identifying the root causes of conflict in Syria or Iraq.

Finally, there is the role played by the media and their paid commentators who are all too often mere purveyors of conventional wisdom. Because they frequently know less than the candidates they are covering, they are ill equipped to challenge them or to report on their dangerous and/or trite responses to critical foreign policy questions.
As a result, it’s still not the serious and comprehensive discussion about US policy in the Middle East we so desperately need.

Societies Between War and Peace:
Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow’s World.
Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Kremlin website 22-10-2015

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: This year the discussion focusses on issues of war and peace. This topic has clearly been the concern of humanity throughout its history. Back in ancient times, in antiquity people argued about the nature, the causes of conflicts, about the fair and unfair use of force, of whether wars would always accompany the development of civilisation, broken only by ceasefires, or would the time come when arguments and conflicts are resolved without war.

I’m sure you recalled our great writer Leo Tolstoy here. In his great novel 'War and Peace', he wrote that war contradicted human reason and human nature, while peace in his opinion was good for people.
True, peace, a peaceful life have always been humanity’s ideal. State figures, philosophers and lawyers have often come up with models for a peaceful interaction between nations.
Various coalitions and alliances declared that their goal was to ensure strong, ‘lasting’ peace as they used to say. However, the problem was that they often turned to war as a way to resolve the accumulated contradictions, while war itself served as a means for establishing new post-war hierarchies in the world...

Unfortunately, military terminology is becoming part of everyday life. Thus, trade and sanctions wars have become today’s global economic reality – this has become a set phrase used by the media. The sanctions, meanwhile, are often used also as an instrument of unfair competition to put pressure on or completely ‘throw’ competition out of the market.
As an example, I could take the outright epidemic of fines imposed on companies, including European ones, by the United States. Flimsy pretexts are being used, and all those who dare violate the unilateral American sanctions are severely punished.

Absolute 'good' versus absolute evil

The global information space is also shaken by wars today, in a manner of speaking. The ‘only correct’ viewpoint and interpretation of events is aggressively imposed on people, certain facts are either concealed or manipulated. We are all used to labelling and the creation of an enemy image.
The authorities in countries that seemed to have always appealed to such values as freedom of speech and the free dissemination of information – something we have heard about so often in the past – are now trying to prevent the spreading of objective information and any opinion that differs from their own; they declare it hostile propaganda that needs to be combatted, clearly using undemocratic means...

Leo Tolstoy (born in 1828) was one of the world’s pre-eminent writers becoming famous through his epic novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
Towards the end of his life, Leo Tolstoy became increasingly interested in a version of pacifist Christianity with support for a strand of anarchist Communism. His exposition of pacifism and non-violence had a profound influence on others – most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.