Saddam's Death, 74 (july 2016)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 73: june-july 2016 and Page 75: august 2016
and Israel & 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

"A lot of rulers today still view principled people as a burden to them"

"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

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.
Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." Prophet Muhammad, Last Sermon

"Having principles is necessary in any talks, as they constitute a reference for the process of negotiating..." "Since the beginning of Geneva 3 talks, the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic proposed a paper of principles that forms a basis for the talks. [...] There have been no real talks until this moment and the paper of principles has not been answered to.." Bashar al-Assad, speech 6-6-2016

"The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say." (Bashar al-Assad, 9-11-2012)

"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, 26-1-2015)

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."

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

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

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

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

Omar has often been called the 'Voltaire of the East', and cried down as materialist and atheist. As far as purity of diction, fine wit, crushing satire against a debased and ignorant clergy, and a general sympathy with suffering humanity are concerned, ‘Omar certainly reminds us of the great Frenchman; but there the comparison ceases. Voltaire never wrote anything equal to ‘Omar’s fascinating rhapsodies in praise of wine, love and all earthly joys, and his passionate denunciations of a malevolent and inexorable. (Klik voor bron)

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)

Clintonites in Democratic Party Back Settler Colonialism
By Juan Cole | Jul. 10, 2016

The Clinton loyalists debating the Democratic Party platform have defeated an amendment that would have called for an end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and condemned Israeli squatter settlements illegal. The Democratic Party, in other words, backs the principle of colonialism.

The Israeli occupation of Palestine (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) grew out of the 1967 Six-Day war, and wartime occupations are a recognized legal category. However, the Israeli government has not abided by the most basic provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949..
The Israeli establishment is openly contemptuous of the Geneva Conventions, which were passed to forestall the recurrence of the abuses and atrocities committed by the Axis powers during World War II.
One of the actions forbidden to the occupying power is to alter the status of the occupied population. Most important, Art. 49 says, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
So the hundreds of thousands of Israeli squatters on Palestinian land are engaged in an illegal act, an act which is aided and abetted by the Israeli government and by the government of the United States.
This is no longer a legal occupation. It has evolved into a permanent colonial Apartheid society, with the Palestinians left stateless and without basic human rights and ruled or besieged by the Israeli military.
If the Democratic Party can’t even just state that the Israeli squatter settlements are illegal, which is what the US signed on to when it ratified the Geneva Conventions, then it should change its name to the Colonial Party.

Hanan Ashrawi & International Law
Palestine Chronicle, July 7, 2016

Exclusivity & Polarisation

"The world is still paying for the mistakes of the post WW II and the cold war era with all its “-isms” and “the end justifies the means” approach.

Instead of the promise of an inclusive, interactive, and integrated global approach to human development and conflict resolution, the new ideology is threatening to impose an artificial construct of exclusivity and polarization, not only as a parallel to the past paradigm, but also as a source of tremendous injustice and conflict." (read more here)
PLO Executive Member, Hanan Ashrawi, denounced Israel’s plan to expand three illegal Israeli settlements around the Jerusalem area. The aim is to build hundreds of residential units to accommodate more Israeli settlers...
Ashrawi said the Israeli government is bent on destroying the viability, integrity and territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital simply. It aims to isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian environs and ethnically cleanse the occupied city of its indigenous population.
Ashrawi added, “The continued theft of Palestinian land and the increase in settlements constitute serious and grave threats to security and stability within the region and beyond”. She further condemned the use of collective punishment against around Palestinians in the Hebron area.

The expansion plans come two days following the release of the Middle East Quartet’s report, which flagrantly accommodates Israel’s demands and violations, equates a vulnerable people under a brutal military occupation with a ruthless occupier and falls below the minimum requirements for peace, according to Ashrawi.

“We call on all members of the international community to uphold their moral, legal and political responsibilities and to hold Israel to account for its blatant violations of international law and consensus”.

The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be read as assuming a kind of moral universalism.
Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals", regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing feature.

Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism ('nothing is morally wrong'), moral relativism ('there are no universal moral values') and moral exceptionalism ('people claiming absolute truth, absolute goodness, etc..')

Bashar al-Assad: Russian politics based on values
Mikhail Voskresenskiy, Sputnik News, 14-7-2016

MOSCOW – Russian support for the Syrian government army has tipped the scales in the war against terrorists in the Arab Republic, Syria's President Bashar Assad said.
"The Russian support of the Syrian army has tipped the scales against the terrorists," Assad told NBC News. "At the same time, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have sent more troops since that Russian legal intervention started. But in spite of that, it was the crucial factor," he added.
Bashar Assad said his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin is very frank, honest and based on mutual respect.
"Very frank, very honest, mutual respect," Assad told NBC News, answering a question on how he would describe his relationship with the Russian president.
The Syrian leader said he was not worried about Putin's upcoming meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and the possibility of Moscow and Washington agreeing on the need for him to resign.
"No, for one reason. Their politics, the Russian politics, [are] not based on making deals, it's based on values," he said.

Assad: for me the war is not to stay in my position;
for me the war is to restore Syria.
Interview with NBC News, SANA, 14-7-2016

- Has President Putin demanded anything of you? What’s the deal?
- President Assad: When he wanted to intervene? He didn’t ask for anything...
For a simple reason: first of all, their politics are built on values. This is very important.
The second thing, their interest is common interest with us now, because they are fighting the same terrorists that they should fight in Russia. We are fighting the terrorists that could be fighting in Europe, in the United States, anywhere else in the world. But the difference between President Putin and the other Western officials is that he could see that clearly while the other officials in Europe or in the West in general couldn’t see that.

- How would you describe your relationship with him?
- President Assad: Very frank, very honest, mutual respect.
- So just to be clear: neither Foreign Secretary Lavrov nor President Putin has ever talked to you about political transition, about a day when you would leave power? That’s never come up?
- President Assad: Never, because as I said, this is related to the Syrian people. Only the Syrian people define who’s going to be the president, when to come, and when to go. They never said a single word regarding this.
- And you’re not worried in the least about Secretary Kerry meeting Vladimir Putin and coming to an understanding in which you may have to leave power?
- President Assad: No, for one reason: because their politics, I mean the Russian politics, is not based on making deals; it’s based on values.
And that’s why you don’t see any achievement between them and the Americans because of different principles. The American politics are based on making deals, regardless of the values, which is not the case for the Russians.

- President Obama wanted you out. He’s leaving office soon, and you’re staying. Did you win?
- President Assad: No, it’s not between me and him. It’s between me and whoever wants to destroy this country, and mainly the terrorists within Syria now. This is where we can win as Syrians; if we can get rid of those terrorists, if we can restore the stability in Syria, this is where we win. Otherwise, we cannot talk about winning.

- But one of the president’s key aims, which was to remove you from power, has clearly failed, or do you believe it’s failed?
- President Assad: Yeah, I said he’s failed, but that doesn’t mean I win, because for him the war is to remove me, for me the war is not to stay in my position; for me the war is to restore Syria...
... Since the beginning of this crisis we heard the same motto “Assad must go” many times from nearly every Western official in different levels, whether leader or foreign official or any other official. We never cared about it...
As long as I have the support of the Syrian people, I don’t care about whoever talks, including the president of the United States himself. Anyone...

Russian Defense Ministry engaged in restoring the Syrian army's combat capabilities
Sputnik News, 15-7-2016

Over 4,5000 square miles and 150 Syrian towns have been liberated from Daesh terrorists due to Russian air support, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu , said Friday. "This allowed 264,000 refugees to return to their places of permanent residence."
He lauded the return of three oil fields and the liberation of the key cities of Palmyra and Quaryatayn over the course of the Russian operation.
"But most importantly, the expansion of terrorist group activity into surrounding areas has stopped," the minister stressed.
Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian Aerospace Forces managed to stop the expansion of terrorist groups' activity in Syria. He further said that the Russian operation in Syria has changed the situation in the war-torn country in favor of the Syrian legitimate government.

"The operation carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces has reversed the situation in favor of the legitimate government of Syria. As a result of the Russian aviation's actions, the resource support of terrorists has been disrupted and in some regions it has been completely terminated."
The Russian Defense Ministry is engaged in restoring the Syrian army's combat capabilities and training its units, the minister said.
"As part of the Russian Defense Ministry's targeted work on strengthening the Syrian armed forces, measures are being carried out to restore their combat capabilities and train their units for battle missions."

Syria not interested in returning to Arab League
Press TV, Fri Jul 15, 2016

Syria says it is not interested in returning to the Arab League as long as the group is dominated by some regimes that conspire against Damascus and the Arab world.
A source within the Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Syria “is not even thinking” about returning to the Arab League as long as the pan-Arab group is dominated by “countries known for having conspired against Syria,” and those responsible for division in the Arab world.
The source said Damascus has not made any request to rejoin the Arab League. Syria holds the group responsible for the chaos in Libya, the source said, over its role in the military intervention in the Arab country.
The Arab League should also be held accountable for aggravating the crisis in Syria and hindering efforts to resolve it, the source added.

The statement comes in response to recent remarks made by the secretary general of the Arab League where he set preconditions for Syria's return.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday that Syria's membership in the Arab League can only resume after an agreement between the government and opposition.
"To return the place, an agreement should be achieved in Syria between the government and opposition," the Arab League chief said in a speech during his visit to Sudan’s capital of Khartoum.
Syria's membership in the Arab League was suspended in 2011 after the onset of the foreign-backed Takfiri militancy.

The Arab Leaque & The Arab Homeland

arab league meeting 2010 The Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland while respecting the sovereignty of the individual member states. ...
Governance of the Arab League has been based on the duality of supra-national institutions and the sovereignty of the member states.
Preservation of individual statehood derived its strengths from the natural preference of ruling elites to maintain their power and independence in decision making.

The fear of the richer that the poorer may share their wealth in the name of Arab nationalism, the feuds among Arab rulers, and the influence of external powers that might oppose Arab unity can be seen as obstacles towards a deeper integration of the league. ( Wikipedia Info)

Flashback: Gadhafi Criticizes the Arab League
By Bridget Johnson,

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

We are our own enemy

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

Flashback: Qatar admits sending hundreds of troops
to support Libya rebels, Ian Black, The Guardian, 26-10-2011

Qatar has admitted for the first time that it sent hundreds of troops to support the Libyan rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi's regime. The Gulf state had previously acknowledged only that its air force took part in Nato-led attacks.
The revelation came as Qatar hosted a conference on the post-Gaddafi era that was attended by the leader of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who described the Qataris as having planned the battles that paved the way for victory.

Qatar played a key role in galvanising Arab support for the UN security council resolution that mandated Nato to defend Libyan civilians in March. It also delivered weapons and ammunition on a large scale – without any clear legal basis.
The Qatari chief-of-staff, Major-General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya, said: "We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on the ground were hundreds in every region. Training and communications had been in Qatari hands. Qatar … supervised the rebels' plans because they are civilians and did not have enough military experience," AFP quoted him as saying. "We acted as the link between the rebels and Nato forces."

Qatar calls for Arab intervention in Syria
By Tim Witcher, 26-9-2012

The emir of Qatar has called for an Arab intervention in Syria and a no-fly zone to protect refugees as President Bashar al-Assad's forces stepped up the battle for Aleppo.
Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, urged Arab action in the war-torn state because of the failure of the UN Security Council and other international efforts to end the 18-month-old conflict...
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, delivered a blistering attack on Assad in his speech to the UN assembly. "The future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people," said the US president. Hollande joined the clamor for Assad to leave.

read more: Saddam's Death Page 16: 2012

Trump picks pro-Israel stalwart Mike Pence as running mate
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 15, 2016

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a pro-Israel stalwart and conservative Christian, as his running mate.
“I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.,” the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted Friday afternoon.
Pence, 57, emerged quickly as a leader on pro-Israel issues during his 12 years in Congress from 2001 to 2013, where he rose rapidly in the GOP caucus leadership, chairing the Republican Conference in his penultimate term, 2011-2013.
He led a number of bids to place conditions on funding for the Palestinian Authority, and in 2007 he joined then-Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla., in convening the Congressional Anti-Semitism Task Force.
Pence has continued his pro-Israel advocacy as Indiana governor, earlier this year signing one of the most robust state laws targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Pence is known as a social conservative and Evangelical Christian. He opposes abortion rights as well as gay marriage.
In becoming Trump’s running mate, Pence beat out two higher profile names both considered pro-Israel as well — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Israel's enemies are our enemies

Speaking before AIPAC in 2009, then-Rep. Pence linked his support for Israel with his faith:
“Let me say emphatically, like the overwhelming majority of my constituents, my Christian faith compels me to cherish the state of Israel.”
He backed that up last December at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s conference when he said:
“Israel’s enemies are our enemies, Israel’s cause is our cause. If this world knows nothing else, let it know this: America stands with Israel.”

Long Knives in Ankara: Victorious Erdogan begins Purge of Judiciary, Army
By Juan Cole | Jul. 17, 2016

President Tayyip Erdogan is taking advantage of the failed coup against him to purge the judiciary and security forces of anyone who is lukewarm toward or actively critical of him.
These steps are, of course, the opposite of the ones Erdogan should be taking– he should be attempting to bring the country together in unity and to re-include in the polity those he has isolated and excluded in recent years. Instead, he is scapegoating and purging.
Erdogan characterizes this purge as against the secretive and cult-like Gulen movement, one element in Turkey’s landscape of the religious Right. He blames the Gulen movement for the attempted coup, though its leader (in exile in Pennsylvania), Fethullah Gulen, denies the allegation.
Erdogan has suspended 2745 court judges suspected of ties with the Gulen movment. These judges cannot be shown to have been involved in the coup, but Erdogan’s secret police apparently suspect them of Gulen tendencies. This is a purge, not justice.
Erdogan pursued the purge in the ranks of the military, as well.

Erdogan’s pro-Muslim coalition that began coming to power in 2002 included a number of constituents on the religious Right.
These were small town and rural Muslims who felt excluded by the secular elites of Ankara and Istanbul. Some were small organized groups such as the Naksibendi Sufi orders, others were vaguer circles of Muslim entrepreneurs.
One of the larger groups was the Neo-Sufi Hizmet or Gulen movement... The Gulen movement updated Sufism for Muslim modernist purposes. In a modern society, some aspects of Neo-Sufism look a lot like a cult, including the demand for unquestioning obedience to the leader and forms of corporate solidarity.
It appears that the Gulen movement has focused on getting its members into key positions in the Turkish government, including the police, army and judiciary, and possibly the intelligence services...
Since Erdogan broke with Gulen a few years ago, he has been convinced that the Hizmet members are still secretly positioned in the government and plotting against him. He sees the failed coup as a reasonable grounds on which he can polish off his critics and brand them as dangerous cultists.
But democracies require loyal oppositions. Erdogan needs his critics, and they should not be prosecuted or fired if they haven’t committed a criminal act. Just firing people en masse for “sympathies” is contrary to every human rights norm...

Is Hizmet Islamist?
Uğur Kömeçoğlu 2014, Gulen Movement Website

One of the main goals of the Hizmet organization has been the elevation of a Muslim consciousness that is compatible with modern civil democracy and opposed to Islamism.
For Gülen, Islamists are usually motivated by personal and political agendas rooted in the pursuit of worldly ambitions and power as well as by anger and hostility toward others: "Many groups that have put themselves forward under the banner of Islam export a distorted image of Islam and actually strengthen it."
As a Muslim movement, Hizmet seeks to revitalize religious faith, and it also believes Islam has a role to play in enriching and sustaining civic and democratic political life.
But in sharp contrast with Islamists, participants do not seek to become a political party, nor do they seek political power for themselves or for the purposes of spreading a particular political ideology.
Instead, the movement aims to improve modern society and advance the human condition by strengthening spirituality and individual piety.

Is Fethullah Gülen a Threat to Democracy?
Tineke Peppinck - Gulen Movement Website

"Muslims have historically added much to the flourishing of human civilization. Our greatest contributions were made in eras when the faith cherished mutual respect, freedom and justice. It may be immensely difficult to restore the blotted image of Islam, but Muslims can be beacons of peace and tranquility in their societies." Fethullah Gulen, 2015

Fethullah Gülen acknowledges the value of ideas like modernization, secularism and democracy, but he tries also to discuss their content and to give them a provenance and meaning different from that given by the ‘Kemalists’.
Thus, for him ‘democracy’ is an idea, a value, that is inherent to Islam. According to him the Turkish people need a higher type of democracy than the present one; a democracy that offers more room to the spiritual (religious/Islamic) faculties, of which in his view the people are in need.

‘Secularism’ envisages that the state will not interfere in the religious experience of its citizens, so that it can ‘create a climate where everyone can sow his ideas unhindered and harvest its crop’. Fethullah Gülen’s vision is, in itself, an alternative form of modernization.

As we said earlier, modernization seems to be a necessary condition for maintaining the right to sustain independent existence in this world, without being oppressed or taken advantage of by the so-called ‘civilized nations’, without having to relinquish one’s own identity in exchange for a ‘civilized culture’.
It is interesting that this is the starting point as much of the Kemalist vision as it is of that of Fethullah Gülen.
Both want to avoid dependency and being dominated, but at the same time their ideas about how to achieve that differ strongly.
Fethullah Gülen has sharp criticisms of the results of the type of modernization that Atatürk strove for. He does not blame Atatürk for this, because according to him Atatürk had the same opinion as himself, only he was understood in a wrong way and it was presented to the people in a wrong way.

Gulf Ally Qatar Congratulates Erdogan on Foiling Coup Bid
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 16-7-2016

Wealthy Turkish ally Qatar congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday on apparently foiling a deadly coup attempt by the military against his rule.
In a telephone call with the Turkish leader, Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani "congratulated (Erdogan) on the support of the people of Turkey on his rule against the failed military coup," the official QNA news agency reported.
Sheikh Tamim "strongly condemned this failed attempt and voiced... (Qatar's) solidarity with Turkey... in all measures it takes to protect constitutional legitimacy, enforce the rule of law and preserve its security and stability."

Gas-rich Qatar is Erdogan's closest Gulf ally, sharing his sympathies for the Muslim Brotherhood that formerly ruled Egypt and is outlawed in other Gulf Arab states.
The two governments signed a defence deal in 2014, providing for the establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar and regular training deployments.
The other five Gulf Arab states have made no comment on the events in Turkey, issuing only consular advice to their citizens to stay off the streets.
Erdogan called on his supporters on Saturday to remain vigilant, warning of the risks of a fresh flare-up of violence after the Friday evening coup attempt.

"Erdogan will succeed because Allah, Gabriel, Salih Al-Muminin (the Righteous of the Faithful)
are with him and after that the Angelic Host will appear”. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 16-8-2014

Flashback: Americans are mobilizing the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab nation, WorldTribune, 14-9-2012
The Gulf Cooperation Council was said to have been examining the growth of Brotherhood-aligned groups in the six member states over the last year. GCC sources said the UAE as well as other GCC states were dismayed by U.S. support of the new Brotherhood-led regime in Egypt....
Qatar has been the only GCC state to have embraced the Brotherhood. The sources cited significant Qatari military aid to the rebels in Libya and Syria as well as a relatively free hand granted to a top Brotherhood cleric, Sheik Yusef Al Qaradawi.

read more: page 54

Turkey to formally demand US to extradite Gulen
Staff writer, Al Arabiya, Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Turkish government will write to the United States and other Western governments to demand the return of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen and his supporters following a failed coup attempt.
Responding to the request, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Turkey would have to give solid evidence to provide a legal foundation to extradite Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. The top US diplomat added that there had not yet been a formal extradition request for the cleric from Turkey.
Turkey’s justice minister Bekir Bozdag told state-run news channel TRT that keeping Gulen “wouldn’t befit the solidarity, cooperation, alliance and friendship between Turkey and the United States.”
The minister added there was not a single person in Turkey who doubted Fetullah Gulen was behind the coup attempt. He said, “does one need evidence to prove the existence of the Sun? This is just as clear a matter.” He added that Turkey would be submitting the necessary documentation, but hoped the US would extradite without waiting for the paperwork...
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who during the Friday night coup attempt went on air via a smartphone interview broadcasted on CNN Turk to tell citizens to resist the pro-coup army units - vowed on Sunday to clean out the “virus” within state bodies, during a speech at the funeral of victims killed during the coup bid.
We will continue to clean the virus from all state bodies... Unfortunately like a cancer, this virus has enveloped the state. We knew this and told all relevant authorities,” he warned thousands of mourners at the Fatih mosque in Istanbul.

The US has shown little inclination to send Gulen back to Turkey.
Nathaniel Tek, the US State Department’s regional spokesman, echoed Kerry’s comments that evidence would be required to prove the cleric’s wrongdoing. “There needs to be a set of specific documentation, with evidence, that goes directly to our Department of Justice,” Tek told Al Arabiya English.
The Justice Department has declined to comment on Gulen’s case.
In an interview with the Associated Press early this year, Aslandogan, of the Alliance for Shared Values, said:
“(Gulen) said that the United States has a long tradition of democracy and rule of law. ... They will see that these are politically oriented charges, and they will not allow Erdogan to spread his ambition into the United States.”

Failed Turkey Coup 'Not Blank Check' for Erdogan, France Warns
by Naharnet Newsdesk, 17-7-2016

France's foreign minister warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday against using his country's failed coup as a "blank check" to silence his opponents.
"It was important to condemn the coup in Turkey. That is the least we can do," Jean-Marc Ayrault told France 3 television. But he also warned Erdogan against using the abortive putsch as a pretext for clamping down on his opponents. "We want the rule of law to work properly in Turkey," Ayrault said, warning: "This is not a blank check for Mr. Erdogan."
This view was echoed by Ayrault's Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, who said Erdogan should not "misuse" the coup as "a carte blanche to do whatever he wants."
Questioned about Turkey's reliability in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group, Ayrault described the NATO member as a "great country" and ally but said the events of the past two days did "raise questions." "There's (the question of) reliability on the one hand and, indeed, an element of suspicion on the other," he said.

Kobler: "Libya cannot be united as long as it has several armies"
by Naharnet Newsdesk,17-7-2016

The U.N. is set to host a second day of talks on Libya Sunday with the aim of creating a "unified" army in a country wracked by internal divisions and a jihadist threat.
The organization brokered a power-sharing deal last year to form a Government of National Accord (GNA), but the body is still struggling to assert its authority.
"All Libya's problems today are tied up to the security issue," said Martin Kobler, head of the UN's support mission in the country, after a first day of talks in the Tunisian capital on Saturday.
The goal of the discussions was to create "a unified Libyan army under the command of the presidential council," he said, according to an Arabic translation of his remarks. "Libya cannot be united as long as it has several armies."

The GNA faces a fearsome set of military, economic and political challenges in a country where rival militias have vied for power since the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The GNA arrived in the capital three months ago, but it has not been endorsed by Libya's elected parliament, while a rival political authority based in the country's far east has refused to cede power. A controversial general, Khalifa Haftar, controls forces loyal to this authority.
"I want to meet General Haftar, to see and understand his position. I contact him every week to arrange a meeting, but so far he has refused," Kobler said.

Herzog: Israeli politicians inciting hatred, racism
Press TV, Tue Jul 19, 2016

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog has warned of “growing hatred and racism” being incited by right-wing politicians in Israel.
“We are on the verge of an uprising of hatred, racism, darkness and upcoming killings and assassination based on the overwhelming internal hatred here,” Herzog said during a speech at a Zionist Camp parliamentary bloc session...
We hear hatred at every turn, whether it is directed toward women by military rabbis, by Ashkenazi Jews against Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews against Ashkenazis.”
The 55-year-old chairman of the Labor Party further blamed the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the prevalence of the rising fascist discourse in Israel.

“This way the seeds of the uprising of hatred are planted, which will lead to a civil war. This hatred is being carried out by the full support and cover of those in charge,” Herzog said. “Whoever heads this administration remains silent about the uprising of hatred, without working against it, ending it, taking steps against its leaders, or preventing those behind it from receiving funding,” the Israeli opposition leader said.

Earlier this month, Herzog denounced the passage of a controversial law compelling Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reveal the sources of their public foreign funding. The measure has come under fire from left-wing groups as an attack against the critics of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.
Herzog slammed the legislation, titled the “NGO Transparency Law,” for “symbolizing the budding fascism that is rising and flourishing in Israeli society.”
Critics argue that the bill targets human rights groups critical of the Israeli administration’s policies, and does not affect right-wing and pro-settlement NGOs.

Ali Khamenei & The Book of Love and Feeling
From, "Who Is Ali Khamenei?" by Akbar Ganji,
Foreign Affairs, September/October 2013 issue.

Ali Khamenei has always been critical of liberal democracy and thinks that capitalism and the West are in inevitable long-term decline. Moreover, he sees Washington as inherently Islamophobic.
Nevertheless, he is not reflexively anti-Western or anti-American. He does not believe that the United States and the West are responsible for all of the Islamic world’s problems, that they must be destroyed, or that the Koran and sharia are by themselves sufficient to address the needs of the modern world.
He considers science and progress to be “Western civilization’s truth,” and he wants the Iranian people to learn this truth...

As a young man, Khamenei loved novels. He read such Iranian writers as Muhammad Ali Jamalzadah, Sadeq Chubak, and Sadeq Hedayat but came to feel that they paled before classic Western writers from France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. He has praised Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Sholokhov and likes Honoré de Balzac and Michel Zévaco, but he considers Victor Hugo supreme. As he told some officials of Iran’s state-run television network in 2004,

"In my opinion, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is the best novel that has been written in history... Les Misérables is a miracle in the world of novel writing. ... I have said over and over again, go read Les Misérables once. This Les Misérables is a book of sociology, a book of history, a book of criticism, a divine book, a book of love and feeling."

Khamenei felt that novels gave him insight into the deeper realities of life in the West.
Read the novels of some authors with leftist tendencies, such as Howard Fast,” he advised an audience of writers and artists in 1996. “Read the famous book The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, ... and see what it says about the situation of the left and how the capitalists of the so-called center of democracy treated them.”

Victor Hugo: Les Misérables

Hugo began writing Les Misérables twenty years before its eventual publication in 1862. His goals in writing the novel were as lofty as the reputation it has subsequently acquired; Les Misérables is primarily a great humanitarian work that encourages compassion and hope in the face of adversity and injustice.
It is also, however, a historical novel of great scope and analysis, and it provides a detailed vision of nineteenth-century French politics and society. By coupling his story of redemption with a meticulous documentation of the injustices of France’s recent past, Hugo hoped Les Misérables would encourage a more progressive and democratic future.

The Importance of Love and Compassion

In Les Misérables, Hugo asserts that love and compassion are the most important gifts one person can give another and that always displaying these qualities should be the most important goal in life.
Valjean’s transformation from a hate-filled and hardened criminal into a well-respected philanthropist epitomizes Hugo’s emphasis on love, for it is only by learning to love others that Valjean is able to improve himself.
While Valjean’s efforts on behalf of others inevitably cause him problems, they also give him a sense of happiness and fulfillment that he has never before felt. Valjean’s love for others is what keeps him going in desperate times.

Social Injustice in Nineteenth-Century France

Hugo uses his novel to condemn the unjust class-based structure of nineteenth-century France, showing time and again that the society’s structure turns good, innocent people into beggars and criminals.
Hugo focuses on three areas that particularly need reform: education, criminal justice, and the treatment of women.

Read more: Saddam's Death, Page 50

Israel Good - Iran bad: Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a new fatwa
"We must form an urgent and unified front against the infidel Iran"
AWD News, 16 May 2016

Mon, 16 May 2016 ( Jeddah, Saudi Arabia ) — Islamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi argues clearly and consistently that hatred against Israel and Jews nation is Islamically [haram] banned.
Speaking on the sidelines of the world assembly of Islamic scholars in the Saudi city of Jeddh,Yusuf al-Qaradawi said that the Middle-East needs peace and co-existence more than ever and Arab Gulf countries as leading wealthy Islamic nations are ready to make sacrifices in peace negations with the State of Israel and encourage Palestinian President Abbas to follow the same policy.
Referring to the ongoing crisis in Syria, the exiled Egyptian cleric stressed that Iranians are the sole responsible for Syrian calamity and their leaders must brought before the international law, i.e. the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The 89-year old Egyptian cleric further added that Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Iran which is seeking more wars in the war-scarred Middle-East.
"According to Holy Quran Jews are considered as people of book thus we shall give up our futile animosity towards our Israeli neighbors. We [Muslims] can establish a peaceful co-existence with the Jewish nation," Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the octogenarian Qatari-based cleric as saying.
The Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi has also voiced his concerns over the Iranian-backed Shia expansion in Sunni-dominated countries in the troubled Middle-East region and he called for "an urgent and unified front against the infidel Persians [Iranians]".

Sheikh Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), said in a communiqué on Monday, which was also made available to AFP that he urges the Syrian ultra-Islamist rebels to persevere with their upraising vigorously against the shia infidel Bashar al-Assad, expressing his faith in their ultimate victory.

In February 2013, on an episode of Shariah and Life show, which broadcast on Al-Jazeera, Yusuf Qaradawi stated since the 15th century, the application of the death penalty for those who leave Islam is a necessity, stating, "If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment Islam wouldn't exist today."
Qaradwai also cited several speeches and writings by Muhammad and his followers, such as Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:33, which Qaradawi quoted as "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle is that they should be murdered or crucified."
Qaradawi further explained, "... many hadiths, not only one or two, but many, narrated by a number of Muhammad's companions state that any apostate should be killed..."

27-1-2016: Saudi Arabian scholars are more mature

Egyptian preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi who is also the President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) expressed his regret again over the years he spent trying to reconcile Sunnis and Shiites.
He launched a sharp attack on Shitte religious authorities and praised Saudi Arabian scholars who realised the true nature of Lebanese Hezbollah’s secretary general early on. He added that the Saudi Arabian scholars were more mature than him with regards to their stance on Shiites.
Al-Qaradawi reposted a clip of himself filmed during a conference to help the Syrian people which was held in Qatar. The clip showed Al-Qaradawi addressing a group of Sunni scholars and religious leaders whilst saying that the idea of rapprochement between sects has worked in favour of the Shiites and that the Sunnis have not benefited from it at all.
He added that “after this long period of time I do not see the benefit of rapprochement between Sunnis and Shiites. The Sunnis lose and the Shiites gain.”

Failed coup is Turkey’s Iraqification moment
Tulin Daloglu | YNet Opinion, 19.07.2016

Op-ed: Just as the American purge of the Baath party in Iraq following the occupation led to the collapse of the country's state structure, Erdogan's massive cleanse of state institutions could lead to similar catastrophic results.

ANKARA - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has strongly denied any claims that his government had prepared arrest lists before Friday’s failed coup attempt.
Taking him by his word, things could be even worse. The government could be acting out of pure anger without thinking thorough what would be the consequences of rounding up thousands upon thousands of people from the military, the judiciary system, other state institutions and from academia.
This failed military coup could become Turkey’s Iraqification moment. After the occupation in Iraq, the first thing on the American agenda was to remove all Baath party members from Iraq's state institutions. That led to the collapse of the state structure in the country. The mass arrests in Turkey now could lead to a similar situation.
Turkish media is reporting that over 10,000 state employees have lost their jobs—some by getting arrested, others by having their contracts suspended. For any structure to kick out such a massive amount of employees at one time, this would spell out institutional crisis...
For its current purge, the Turkish government was able to come up with a list of Gülenists in the blink of an eye. It could be because they knew who these Gülen followers were from the very beginning, while still allowing them to gather strength within the state’s institutions.
Alternatively, the government is leading yet another cleansing, including those who have no connection to the government or the Gülenist camp.
The question then is, who are replacing these people; where are they coming from; how qualified are they?

"Providing religious education to Muslims is critical to depriving extremists of a tool that they use to spread their twisted ideologies. When religious freedom is denied, as it has been for decades in parts of the Muslim world, faith grows in the shadows, leaving it to be interpreted by unqualified and radical figures." Fethullah Gulen, Wall Street Journal, 27-8-2015

50,000 Targeted in Turkey Purge, No Islamic Funeral Rites for Coup Soldiers
Sputnik news, 20-7-2016

The crackdown against accused enemies of the state swells as another 21,000 teachers were suspended on Tuesday in moves by the Erdogan regime to "cleanse" his government.
The Turkish government has moved to ban Islamic funerals for all deceased suspected coup supporters, warning imams not to carry out ceremonies, a decision made in the wake of last Friday’s attempted overthrow of the Erdogan government.
The once moderate, secular country directly employs Turkey’s estimated 75,000 imams, and the maneuver by the Erdogan administration, to deprive his opposition of burial rights, would appear to signal that the leader does not view those accused of participating in the coup as true Muslims.
The move is considered an attempt to undercut the influence of exiled US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of masterminding the coup.
The Religious Affairs Directorate made the decision official on Wednesday, announcing that imams would not lead prayers for "pro-coup soldiers who targeted our nation."
The religious indignity for Ankara’s perceived adversaries is taking place concurrently with a wide-ranging government purge of those accused of supporting the attempted coup. Encompassing thousands in education, police, military and political establishments, some 50,000 individuals have been arrested or suspended from their duties, according to Reuters reports. Turkey’s Education Ministry told Reuters that the country has revoked the licenses of 21,000 teachers working in private institutions.

In the aftermath of the coup, many Western analysts believe that the Erdogan administration will now be able to tighten its grip within the Turkish civil service, purging domestic opposition and dissent of any nature, whether tied to the coup or not. Erdogan appeared to affirm the supposition, calling the coup a "gift from Allah."
Yet many are now wondering whether Erdogan has overplayed his hand. Based on apparent illusions of grandeur, he is directly accusing the United States of participating in the coup plot, while his Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, warns that Turkey will go to war with any country that supports Fethullah Gulen...

Erdogan: Egyptian president "has nothing to do with democracy"
Ahram online, 21-7-2016

Egypt said Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lost the ability of "sound judgement" following remarks in which he criticised Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as being far from democratic.
"Among the issues which the Turkish president confuses the most is the ability to distinguish between a full-fledged popular revolution where over 30 million Egyptians went out demanding the armed forces' support, and military coups by definition," the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement early on Thursday.
Erdogan renewed his criticism of El-Sisi during a TV interview with Al-Jazeera network late on Wednesday. He said the Egyptian president "has nothing to do with democracy. He killed thousands of his own people.”
The Egyptian foreign ministry snapped back hours later saying the Turkish president "is continuing to confuse matters and lose the compass of sound judgement -- something that reflects through the tough times he is passing through."

Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan's AKP government. Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Morsi's removal as an "unacceptable coup."
Cairo has repeatedly accused Ankara of "interference" in its domestic affairs and supporting Islamist militants who carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt.
Turkey provides a safe haven for leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which has been banned in Egypt. Ankara also allows TV stations run by sympathisers of the Brotherhood who criticise the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to broadcast out of Turkey.

Flashback: Egyptian Backlash against Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi’s
Call for foreign Intervention in Egypt
Posted on 07/29/2013 by Juan Cole

Muslim ‘televangelist’ Yusuf Qaradawi has provoked fury in many quarters of Egypt with his recent fatwas and statements on that country. Qaradawi is an Egyptian member of the Muslim Brotherhood who took refuge in Qatar and became a Qatari citizen during the period when the Brotherhood was banned in his country of birth. ...
Qaradawi is close to Muhammad Morsi, the deposed president of Egypt... In a letter to a number of international bodies, Qaradawi called for the Arab League, the UN, and the African Union, among others, to “take a stance” toward the deposing of Morsi and “to come to Egypt and see what is happening” there.
He also said, “I call on Muslim throughout the world in every place, in Indonesia, Malysia, Nigeria . . . India, Somalia, Iraq, Iran . . . and in every country of the work, I call upon them to be shuhada’ [witnesses or martyrs].” Many observers interpreted this last statement as a call for volunteers to go fight in Egypt as jihadis seeking martyrdom....

Egyptians and many others are certainly taking the letter as a call to vigilanteism against Egypt, and they are furious. Muhammad Fathi writing in the Youth edition of al-Ahram, Egypt’s newspaper of record, slammed Qaradawi for being more loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood than to Egypt, for urging foreign interference in his own country, and for giving fatwas or legal opinions widely viewed as outside the mainstream and idiosyncratic.

Fatwa against Sisi - Reuters, Jul 6, 2013: Youssef al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based cleric declared in a religious edict, or fatwa, that Egyptians should support ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military should withdraw from the political scene.
Qaradawi, chairman of the International Federation of Muslim Scholars, has been a vociferous supporter of the revolutions that roiled Arab countries in 2011.
Last month he called for a holy war in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad.
On 21 February 2011, al-Qaradawi talked about the protests in Libya and issued a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi: "...To the officers and the soldiers who are able to kill Muammar Gaddafi, to whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free the country and [God’s] servants from him, I issue this fatwa (uftî): Do it!"

Poll: 71% of Egyptians unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests
Ahram Online, Monday 22 Jul 2013

Egyptians are by and large unsympathetic to protests calling for the reinstatement of Egypt’s toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
71 percent of Egyptians voiced their disapproval of the Brotherhood-led protests which have been taking place for three weeks, according to a poll conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera).
Baseera's July opinion poll found that 20 percent of those polled were in support of the pro-Morsi demonstrations, while 9 percent remained uncertain about how to view the matter.

Read more: Saddam's Death, Page 27, 2013

Turkey and Erdogan: Here Comes the (real) Caliphate
By Ralph Peters, Fox News| AINA, 22-7-2016

“We are all with you. It is because you have stood with righteousness against evil. You are with justice against injustice.”
Dear President, lead Turkey as you wish and as we wish … we will be with you giving you strength and will support your party and your loyalists as Allah instructed ‘O ye who believe fear Allah and stand with the righteous …'” Yusuf Qaradawi, Letter to Erdogan, 19-7-2016
Over the past few years, many Americans heard the term "caliphate" for the first time as ISIS declared that the territory it seized from Iraq and Syria was the caliphate reborn.
To us, "caliphate" appeared to be just another name for a vast torture chamber. But for hundreds of millions of Muslims, many of whom have nothing to do with ISIS, the caliphate is associated with a lost and much-romanticized golden age when the caliph, who was also the Turkish sultan, claimed spiritual dominion over all Muslims.
In the 14th century, the Ottomans revived the still-older concept of a caliphate, declaring that the sultan and caliph were one. It remained so until 1924, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the great modernizer, abolished the office as a relic, insisting that Turks had to build a new Turkey and not lay claim to an enervating empire, temporal or spiritual.
At the time, the Muslim world split into two camps. On March 8, 1924, The Economist captured the difference: For Turks and other nationalities newly free of Ottoman rule, "the Western idea of nationality is in the ascendant and the Caliphate is losing its power over the imagination." So far, so good.
But the journal went on to note that for Muslims under colonial rule, "the Caliphate carries a message of salvation through an international Muslim solidarity."
That message of salvation, if not yet of solidarity, is back. The ragtag ISIS caliphate is merely the forerunner of the more ambitious caliphate to come....: It's coming in Turkey.

Convinced that history has no relevance, those same self-deluded Western leaders and diplomats refuse to recognize President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's vision for "his" Turkey. He dreams not only of neo-Ottoman glory, but of a caliphate reborn and led by a Turk. Essentially, the sultan and caliph both would be back on a Turkish throne...
Now we're witnesses to the destruction of Turkey's secular society and the forced-march reversion to religious regimentation and obscurantism, to intolerance and oppressive fundamentalism.
This is the triumph of mosque over modernity, not of the rule of law, but of its supersession. It took almost a century in Turkey, but faith proved stronger than civilization again -- a trend across the bleeding Islamic world...

EU slams 'unacceptable' purges
Daily Star (Lebanon), 22-7-2016

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday faced growing EU criticism over an "unacceptable" crackdown that has seen tens of thousands of people detained or sacked, as supporters celebrated the defeat one week ago of the coup aimed at ending his rule.
The authorities imposed a state of emergency Thursday, strengthening state powers to round up suspects behind the failed military putsch and suspending a key European rights convention.
The European Union urged Turkey "to respect under any circumstances the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms", foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a joint statement.
They slammed as "unacceptable" the sacking or suspension of tens of thousands of people in the education system, judiciary and the media and said they were monitoring the state of emergency "with concern".

But at home, Erdogan basked in the support of jubilant crowds who took to the streets of Istanbul overnight.
Huge numbers were again expected to fill city squares Friday to celebrate Erdogan's victory over the rebels, whose botched coup last Friday with troops, tanks and fighter jets claimed 265 lives.
The president has said July 15 would in future be marked as the "Remembrance Day of the Martyrs".

Erdogan has demanded the United States extradite Gulen, the leader of the Hizmet (Service) movement, which runs a global network of schools as well as businesses, media outlets and cultural centers. Turkey has sent Washington what it says is evidence about the 75-year-old Gulen's alleged involvement in the attempted government overthrow.
The usually-reclusive preacher has condemned the attempted putsch and rejected the accusations against him as "ridiculous, irresponsible and false".

Will Gadhafi's son be Libya's next leader?
UN-mediators ignored the tribal base of the country
Mustafa Fetouri, Al-Monitor, July 22, 2016

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, has been released from jail in Zintan, a town in western Libya, after spending nearly five years there since his capture in November 2011.
In August 2015, the young Gadhafi was sentenced to death by firing squad by a Tripoli-based court. However, the sentence was not carried out and was condemned by Human Rights Watch that accused the self-proclaimed government of politicizing the courts.
Seif never attended the court’s hearings, as he did not fall under the authorities in Tripoli because he was jailed in Zintan, whose local authorities and militias are allied with the Tobruk-based government that consider themselves part of the Libyan Armed Forces led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter. Fearing for his safety, he did not attend his trial. Instead he spoke to the court via video.
The Tobruk-based government is the elected government of Libya and recognized internationally; however, it was forced to flee the capital in August 2014 when Islamist-led militias proclaimed their own government in Tripoli.
His release was legally based on the general amnesty law passed by the internationally recognized Libyan government and enacted by the Zintan court.
His defense team announced July 6 that he had been released April 12 and that for security reasons the news had not been made public. It was decided that it would be in Seif's best interest to remain in Zintan, which pledged to protect him as long as he stayed in town. Karim Khan, who led Seif's defense team, announced that his team of lawyers will ask the ICC to drop the case against Seif, since he has already been tried in Libya for the same crimes and thus cannot be tried again.

Libya - a tribal society

May 2011: Hundreds of tribal leaders gathered under a giant tent to call for an end to an armed uprising against Col. Muammar Gaddafi and to NATO aerial attacks on his forces. (Voltaire Network)
Now that Seif has been released, the question is what role he could play in the war-torn country. Sources close to him have informed Al-Monitor that he has already started contacting people inside Libya and abroad who are supporting him, trying to come up with his own plan to salvage the country.
He is positioned to play a role within the tribal structure in Libya. The majority of tribes that supported his father in the 2011 civil war see him as a savior, and they are willing to support him as their de facto leader in any political process to bring about national reconciliation and reunify the country....
Al-Monitor learned that tribal leaders who support Seif are willing to accept him as their only representative, or what is known in tribal customs as “next of kin.”
This means he will be the only person responsible for accepting any terms of a reconciliation accord that might be reached in exchange for agreeing to forgive crimes committed by the rebels since 2011, such as murders for the sake of national reconciliation.
Many Libyans are looking to Seif as a potential positive player... In fact, those who supported his father make up the majority in absolute numbers, and if organized behind an effective leadership with certain tribal and political credentials, they could be a very effective force that will be hard to ignore...
Also, the tribal forces in the country have largely been sidelined by the successive UN envoys to Libya who tried — and so far have failed — to make any tangible progress in saving the country.
One of the reasons for this has been the lack of organization of the tribes within one political entity that could be taken seriously as a credible negotiating partner. Indeed, tribes opposing the so-called February 17 Revolution have organized themselves in what is known as the Supreme Council of the Libyan Tribes, but it lacked political coherence and strong leadership backed by a clear mandate to lead.
This role could well be played by Seif, as he enjoys wide public support and clear tribal credentials starting with his own Gadhafa tribe.
In a tribal society like Libya, tribes — particularly the major ones such as Warfalla and Tarhuna — are the cornerstone of any future settlement in the country, and without involving them, little can be achieved, as has been the case for the last five years.
Successive UN mediators have so far failed to do much in solving Libya’s political turmoil, mainly because they ignored the tribal base of the country. In this context, Seif could play a major political role.

Libyan Tribal Council 2011: "What is called the Transitional Council in Benghazi was imposed by NATO on us and we completely reject it. Is it democracy to impose people with armed power on the people of Benghazi, many of whose leaders are not even Libyan or from Libyan tribes but come from Tunisia and other countries?"

Predictions by Gadhafi's son come true (Al-Monitor, 28-2-2016)

Freedom For Saif al-Islam Gaddafi! Freedom For Libya!
By Eric Draitser | July 15, 2016

Today, nearly five years later, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi remains the chosen son of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – a man who has endured five years of confinement at the hands of his one-time enemies, who has remained defiant of the US and of its puppet institutions such as the International Criminal Court. His is the man who for so many represents the promise of a better future by symbolizing a better past...
And this is why factions inside Libya, and their backers in the US and Europe, are terrified of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi; they understand perfectly what he represents.
They know that Saif commands the loyalty and respect of the majority of Libyans, far more than any other single faction. They know that Saif is backed by the most influential tribes in the country, as well as what remains of the Green Resistance which has emerged at key moments in the last few years, including the brief takeover of a critical air base in the southern city of Sabha in January 2014. They know that Saif is the only individual leader left in Libya who can unite the disparate political formations into a single force...

But the fear of Saif runs even deeper than just the theoretical leadership that he represents. Rather, the powers that be fear the political force he already is. When Saif’s death sentence was handed down by a kangaroo court in Tripoli, supporters of Gaddafi and the Jamhiriya took to the streets in Benghazi, Sirte, Bani Walid, and a number of other cities across the country, despite ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists in control of much of those cities. At the risk of their own lives, these Libyans carried portraits of the assassinated Col. Gaddafi and Saif al-Islam, chanting their names and calling for a restoration of the socialist government.

Sources in Libya, and among those who have fled to neighboring countries, as well as Europe, have noted that elements of the former Gaddafi government have been working closely with the Sisi government in Egypt. While it is difficult to confirm independently, such a move is entirely plausible considering the common jihadi enemy both face in Libya which shares a long, porous border with Egypt...
Saif represents a chance for Libya to be rebuilt, for the country to be pulled from the morass of chaos manufactured by the US and its NATO partners.
Saif is the hope of the Libyan people who have suffered unspeakable horrors these last five years. Even those who have no love lost for Gaddafi understand the importance of reconstituting a single, united Libya under a single, united government...

Turkey CHP leader: NO to ‘witch hunt’ - YES to meritocracy
Turkish Weekly, July 23, 2016

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has urged the government not to turn the investigation into the recent failed coup attempt into a “witch hunt,” calling on it to respect democratic norms and the rule of law.
“Any kind of wrongdoing with regard to legal proceedings would only help strengthen the coup mentality. We should carefully avoid this. We want all those who are prosecuted on coup-related charges to be tried in line with democracy and the rule of law."
"We don’t want a witch hunt,” CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told private broadcaster NTV in an interview on July 22. “We are a strong state with the rule of law. There have been setbacks in democracy from time to time but Turkey’s face has always been turned toward democracy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“The government should avoid the influence of mass psychology. Those who rule the country should keep their common sense. If you start to rule the country based only on calls from the streets than you wouldn’t be able to escape chaos,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also recalled the CHP’s long-running opposition and warnings over the privileges given to Gülen sympathizers in key appointments within the judiciary and other state institutions.
“While you were appointing 160 people to the Supreme Court of Appeals, I shouted from the parliamentary rostrum, ‘You’re appointing 160 militants.’ But it was me at that time who received all criticism...
He also stressed that recent events show the importance of a strict implementation of meritocracy in state appointments, and the abandonment of “ruling the state like a political party.”
“We can’t resolve problems by dismissing a few people. We first have to change our mentality. We should know that we can’t rule the state like we rule political parties,” theCHP leader said.

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

Why are we not running the country? Because of wealthy capitalists, who use their money as tools of tyranny? Because of religious and regal leaders? What have they done but promoted slave ideologies and backward thinking.
Shall we just allow unelected and privileged people to run our society into the ground...? Let us embrace the side of Reason. (Meritocracy party website)

The Arab world is passing through its darkest phase in history. Even the most diehard optimist would find little to cheer about...
Today there is almost no light at the end of the tunnel. The Arab Spring, which was supposed to usher hope, has engulfed us and thrown us in the dark recesses of a world that has turned into a tumultuous frenzy, while prompting some Arab states to take sterner measures to stifle dissenting voices.

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

A new Arab order should make meritocracy its priority.
An atmosphere of trust and accountability should prevail for the state to progress, and in order to create trust we must put an end to the divisive ways practiced by a certain section to hold sway over society.

The voices of extremist and obscurantists should not be allowed to drown the voices of those who seek progress...

Arab 'Spring', Aleppo 2012: Turkey backed Islamist rebels, attacking the secular meritocracy

Meritocracy : The "most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes 'merit' in terms of tested competency and ability, and most likely, as measured by IQ or standardized achievement tests."
In government or other administration systems, meritocracy, in an administrative sense, is a secular system of government or other administration (such as business administration) wherein appointments and responsibilities are assigned to individuals based upon their "merits": intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or examinations. They are chosen not because of birth, gender, ethnicity, religion or wealth. (Wikipedia info)

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

read more: page 56: the devil's game

Bashar al-Assad & US-policy: Demonizing, Dividing & Supporting Traitors
interview to Cuba’s official state news agency Prensa Latina, 21-7-2016

"It is part of the American politics to demonize presidents"

About how they defame, or try to demonize certain presidents, this is the American way, at least since the second World War...
Since they substituted British colonization in this region, and maybe in the world, the American administrations and the American politicians haven’t said a single honest word regarding anything. They always lie. And as time goes by, they are becoming more inveterate liars, so this is part of their politics.
So, to demonize me is like how they tried to demonize President Putin during the last two years and they did the same with the leader Castro during the last five and six decades. This is their way.
So, we have to know that this is the American way. We don’t have to worry about it. The most important thing is to have good reputation among your own people. That is what we have to worry about.

2013, qatar (muslim brotherhood): leader of the 'syrian' opposition

"They don’t work to unite the people"

Traditionally, the American administrations, when they had relations with any group or community in any country, it is not for the sake of the country, it is not for the interest of the people; it is for the agenda of the United States.
So, that is what we have to ask ourselves: why would the Americans support any group in Syria? Not for Syria. They must have their agenda, and the American agenda has always been divisive in any country.
They don’t work to unite the people; they work to make division between the different kinds of people. Sometimes they choose a sectarian group, sometimes they choose an ethnic group in order to support them against other ethnicities or to push them in a way that takes them far from the rest of the society. This is their agenda.

"They call them oppositions, we call them traitors…"

We have good relations with the opposition within Syria based on the national principles. Of course, they have their own political agenda and they have their own beliefs, and we have our own agenda and our beliefs, and the way we can make the dialogue either directly or through the ballot boxes; it could be a different way of dialogue, which is the situation in every country.
But we cannot compare them with the other oppositions outside Syria, because the word “opposition” means to resort to peaceful means, not to support terrorists, and not to be formed outside your country...
You cannot have your grassroots be the foreign ministry in the UK, France or the intelligence in Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the United States. In that case, you are called a traitor. So, they call them oppositions, we call them traitors.
The real opposition is the one that works for the Syrian people and is based in Syria and its agenda derived its vision from the Syrian people and the Syrian interests.

What is justice? Giving water to trees.
What is injustice? To give water to thorns.

Bashar al-Assad 2013: Religion is for all humanity

We believe that dialogue is the method to direct parties onto the right track and national position... This dialogue has never stopped, and there have been several attempts, but every time we realize that the Muslim Brotherhood have not abandoned their hypocrisy. Their main concern remains power and ruling rather than religion or the interests of the country.
We engage with them as individuals and not as a political party, since our constitution and legislations ban political parties based on religious ideology. This should not be understood as being anti-religion; on the contrary, we support religion.
Religion is a calling, a higher calling to teach the word of God and should be elevated to a much higher level than ruling people’s daily lives.
Religion is for all humanity and not exclusive to a certain group; it has a higher purpose than the details and nuances of our human lives which encompass wrongdoings, sins, perversities and whims.
Religion should not be reduced to a political party. Religion augments moral values, which in turn reinforces politics, parties, the economy and prosperity. It is for these reasons that we do not recognise them as a political party....

Cairo working to counter foreign 'plots' in the region
Ahram Online, Sunday 24 Jul 2016

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said that his country is working to counter "foreign plots" directed at Arab countries.
"Egypt is seeking to remedy what has been perpetrated against us by foreign forces, that have carried out plots, that have weakened the state and opened the door for extremist groups," Shoukry told a ministerial gathering of the Arab League on Saturday.
Shoukry was apparently alluding to the report recetnly issued by the Iraq Inquiry, an official British investigation into the country's role in the 2003 US-led Iraq War.
He said those foreign powers "seek to expand their influence at the expense of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Arab countries.
He said that the crises in Syria, Yemen Libya and Iraq are all linked to the "decline of the role of state in favour of sectarian and extremist militias and organisations and unofficial players seeking to undermine Arab territorial integrity."
Shoukry called on Arab states to join hands to prevent the spread of regional turmoil to countries still enjoying stability.
He tiold the gathering in Mauritania's capital Nouakchott that Arab joint cooperation at the political, economic and social levels "remains sub-standard" to achieving desired Arab integration that would preserve the interests of the Arab world.

Clinton picks Tim Kaine, devout Catholic and bridge-builder
By Francine Kiefer, Christian Science Monitor, July 22, 2016

In announcing Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday, Hillary Clinton put forward exactly what she wants – someone with deep governing experience and national security expertise.
But in this former mayor, governor, and now senator from Virginia, Mrs. Clinton also gets a bridge-builder – a man deeply motivated by his Catholic faith to seek social and racial justice as well as political common ground...
In a May interview, with sun streaming through his Senate office windows and Celtic music cheerily piping from his computer, Senator Kaine emphasized the need to give Americans “a pep talk.” He also spoke at length about the role of faith in his public life.
Religion permeates his private and official life, and his political accommodation of it is itself a middle position, he explains..: “I share my faith story a lot because it’s what motivates me in public service,” and voters want to know what motivates candidates.."

Working for justice: Kaine’s commitment to social and racial justice was forged in a foundational experience as a young missionary in Honduras.
When he returned from Honduras, he finished his law degree and dedicated himself to public service, helping the disadvantaged as a civil rights lawyer who specialized in housing discrimination.
He and his wife, Anne Holton, whom he met at Harvard, settled in Richmond, Va. They joined St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, a mostly black church in a poor neighborhood in a city that what was once the heart of the Confederacy. Decades later, the couple still attend.
Interest in healing rafcial tension was part of his wife’s background. Her father, Linwood Holton, was the first Republican governor of Virginia since Reconstruction, and he integrated its schools.

An Arabic Prayer for Divine Mercy

Psalm 50 in Arabic

Compassion for the afflicted:: Honduras accentuated in him a desire to help the downtrodden and an affinity with Latin Americans...
The world needs more “islands of mercy” – in the poorest barrio, in churches, and in government – Kaine wrote in his 2015 op-ed, reflecting on a return trip to his school in Honduras and on waves of migrant children flooding America’s southern border the year before. The phrase quotes a pastoral letter by Pope Francis that calls for “islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.”
That humanitarian concern and other faith-infused ideas profoundly influence Kaine’s approach to national security..

Tim Kaine, 28-2-2015:
"On Ash Wednesday, as part of a week-long trip to Latin America with Texas Sen. John Cornyn, I arrived in El Progreso for 7 a.m. Mass at the Las Mercedes church across from the town square. As Mass began, I soon realized that the priests processing up the aisle included many of the Jesuits I worked with, now spread throughout Honduras and beyond, returning for a reunion to welcome me..."
"The highlight of Ash Wednesday Mass was the homily that included a reading of a pastoral letter from Pope Francis, our Latin American Jesuit shepherd, challenging each community, parish and person “a ser islas de misericordia en medio de un mar de indiferencia” — to be islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.
There are so many reasons to succumb to indifference. But the world needs “islands of mercy” everywhere, from the poorest barrio, to the altars of our churches, to the halls of government. I celebrate my friends in El Progreso for teaching me, then and now, this simple and beautiful truth. (

In Israel, ex-Saudi general says: "No peace with Arab countries
before there is peace with the Palestinians"
By Tamar Pileggi, Times of Israel, July 24, 2016

A retired Saudi general visiting Israel this week to promote the Arab Peace Initiative said on Sunday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would eliminate Iran’s excuse for supporting regional terrorist groups.
Dr. Anwar Eshki, who was leading a delegation of academics and businessmen on an extremely rare visit seeking to encourage discussion of the Saudi-led peace plan, told Army Radio that normalized ties between Israel and the Arab world were contingent on the cementing of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
“There will be no peace with Arab countries before there is peace with the Palestinians,” said Eshki, whose group met with Israeli officials and MKs in Jerusalem.
“To my knowledge, there is no cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in counter-terrorism efforts, and though they share the same approach in seeking a solution, we want Israel to put an end to what has caused this terrorism.”
Asked if he believed Israel to be the source of regional terrorism, Eshki said: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the source of terrorism, but it does create fertile ground for acts of terrorism in the region."
“If the conflict is resolved, the countries that exploit the Palestinian issue, namely Iran, will no longer be able to capitalize on it,” he added, alluding to Tehran’s support for such terror groups as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic relations with Israel, but its 2002 peace initiative promises the Jewish state full diplomatic ties with Riyadh and 56 other Arab and Muslim countries after cementing a peace accord with the Palestinians.

On Saturday, Eshki met with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and several Knesset members from the opposition. The meetings with Gold and Mordechai reportedly did not take place at official Israeli government facilities but at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
The Saudi delegation also toured the West Bank city of Ramallah and met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as well as other Palestinian officials.
The Arab Peace Initiative in its current form has been rejected by Israel.

Flashback: The Arab Peace Initiative, 2002

The Council of Arab States at the Summit Level at its 14th Ordinary Session,
1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:

I- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194.
III- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I- Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
II- Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

All of the 57 states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (formerly the Organisation of the Islamic Conference) expressed their support for the Arab Peace Initiative.

read more: saddam's death, page 60

Ben-Gurion & the ' Am Segula'
Alon Hadar|YNet News, 25.07.2016

In April 1968, five years after he resigned from the government and retired from politics, the 82-year-old David Ben-Gurion was visited at his Sde Boker home in the Negev by a British-Israeli film crew producing a documentary on his life.
Ben-Gurion speaks freely about his relationship with his father, the dilemma he faced between the German reparations and the Holocaust survivors, his interest in Buddhism, his regret over the euphoria he felt after the 1956 Suez Crisis, and his relationship with his wife Paula.

Q: Why should the Jews come back to Zion?
A: “We had a great Jew. It's about 3,300 years ago. He was the greatest Jew we ever had. His name was Moshe. He said: You are the smallest of the nations and you must be an Am Segula.”

Q 'Am Sgula' could be translated as 'a nation of higher virtues'?
A: “This is one of the meanings. The virtues which we were asked by our prophets, was to be just, truthful, helping all those who need help, and love other men like yourself.”

Q: Do you think Israel is carrying out that mission?
A: “Not yet.”

Q: When you were head of the movement and were prime minister of this country, did you also tell the people, or try to, tell the people to be an 'Am Sgula'?
A: “As long as the (1948) war was going on, I thought security is our main business. When the war was over, at the beginning of January 1949, I called together our best men... Buber... (philosopher) Hugo Bergmann... and others. And I said to them: While until now, we had to fight, which is against our belief and our faith, but destiny imposed it on us. And unless we keep increasing spiritual superiority, I doubt whether we will be able to achieve what we ought to achieve. And therefore we need you.”

A long and violent struggle between mainline Zionists and Revisionists
By Donald Neff, januari 1996

Begin and the Revisionists were heartily hated by the mainline Zionists led by David Ben-Gurion. He routinely referred to Begin as a Nazi and compared him to Hitler.
Ben-Gurion considered the Revisionists so threatening that shortly after he proclaimed establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948, he demanded that the Jewish terrorist organizations disband....
Thus at the heart of the Jewish state there has been a long and violent struggle between mainline Zionists and Revisionists that continues today.
The core of that conflict, one that continues to divide Israel and its American supporters as well, lies in the different philosophies of David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky.
Both were from Eastern Europe, born in the 1880s, and both sought an exclusivist Jewish state. But while Ben-Gurion was pragmatic and secular, Jabotinsky was impatient and messianic, a leader who glorified in the heroic trappings of fascism.
Ben-Gurion was a gruff realist who carefully calculated his moves with a wary eye toward the interests of the great European powers and the United States. Jabotinsky, by contrast, was flamboyant and a devoted admirer of Italy's fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

The Fighting Jew

Jabotinsky died in 1940, and it was Menachem Begin who refined his wild nationalism into practical political action.
Begin concluded: "The world does not pity the slaughtered. It only respects those who fight." He turned Descartes' famous dictum around, saying: "We fight, therefore we exist." Central to Begin's outlook was the concept of the "fighting Jew."

Ben-Gurion talks about life after losing the love of his life.

Q: I read many of the letters that you wrote to Paula in the early years of your marriage, they reveal a great love, a great tenderness.
A: “She was a remarkable woman. She was not a Zionist, she had very little Jewish feeling, she was an American, she was an anarchist.
At that time, all the progressive youth were anarchists. And her hero was an anarchist woman, (Emma) Goldman. This was the greatest (person) she knew. She had no interest in Israel, she didn't know what for. ‘America is better, why do we need the land of Israel?’
But when we decided to marry each other I told her, ‘you will have to go to Israel,’ and I told her what Israel is, then. And she agreed...
“Then, suddenly, 15 years ago, I told her: ‘I'm going to the desert.’ She thought I am mad that I am resigning (from) the government and going to live in the desert, but she followed me. Not many women would do that. So she was very much devoted, and this is a great thing...
And now, since Paula died, I am alone but I can't help it. I'm now a half-man but I must do what I can.”

PAULA Ben-Gurion

Paula Green|Ben-Gurion (the forgotten woman) never once took part in any public functions with him. She did not share the ideals that inspired him. She remained a still believing, if passive, anarchist... She admired the anarchist Emma Goldman.

In the title essay of her book Anarchism and Other Essays, Emma Goldman wrote: "Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government.
Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations."

read more: saddam's death, page 48
Uri Avnery - The Original Sin

Hamas to prepare technocrat lists for local elections
Middle East Monitor, July 26, 2016

Hamas leader in the West Bank Hussein Abu-Kuwaik said that his movement had started “initial discussions” to prepare national technocrat lists for the local elections in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Anadolu reported on Monday.
Abu-Kuwaik stressed that his movement “decided to facilitate the elections in order to energise and pump new blood into Palestinian institutions,” noting that Hamas is eager to see technocrats serving people in the national institutions.
He said that Hamas does not want to “politicise” the local elections which it views as a first stage that would pave the way to parliamentary and presidential elections.
The Hamas leader said that his movement would support technocrat and academic nominees, regardless of their political persuasions. He said that there would be no lists in the name of Hamas, reiterating that “discussions” toward this end are still ongoing.

Middle East Eye, 15-7-2016
Gaza-based movement says it will take part in local elections

Hamas has said it will participate in local elections set for October, after boycotting the last round four years ago.
Its rival, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority headed by president Mahmud Abbas, has said local and municipal polls will be held on October 8 throughout the Palestinian territories.
Hamas said in a statement that it considered local elections to be "necessary and important", without specifying where it would field candidates. The movement boycotted the last round of elections held in 2012 and Gazans have been unable to vote since Hamas took power in the territory in 2007.

Hamas and Fatah agreed a unity deal in April 2014 that was supposed to lead to a technocratic government taking over administration of Gaza and the West Bank. However, Hamas never accepted relinquishing its authority in Gaza, and the two sides remain at loggerheads.

In a statement published on its website, Hamas said it was entering the elections because it wanted to “take national responsibility at this sensitive time for our people and our national cause”.
Ahmed Yousef, a spokesman for Hamas, told Middle East Eye: "We hope that this election will help national reconciliation if we succeeded to have transparent election as this could lay the foundation for the general election in the future.
"Once we have this election this might lead to a general election and national reconciliation..."

The Collapse of the Syrian Economy is Worse Than Germany After World War II
By Matt Phillips, AINA, 27-7-2016

aleppo 'revolution' 2013-2015

Economics is rightly an afterthought compared to the scope of suffering that has accompanied the war in Syria.
Some 250,000 dead are dead. Roughly 5 million people have fled the country. Some 6.5 million others have been displaced within Syria's borders, according to the UN.
But it's also worth noting the almost utter economic devastation.
The IMF estimates more than 75% of the Syrian economy has been destroyed between 2010 and 2015. GDP fell from roughly $60 billion in 2010 to an estimated $14 billion in 2015.
The IMF cautions that its estimates of Syria's GDP are based on "very limited data and conjecture" due to the fact that Syria's Central Bureau of Statistics stopped publishing most important data over the last few years.
For the record, the five year destruction of three-quarters of an economy would rank among one of the steeper economic collapses ever recorded, outpacing the catastrophic economic declines of Germany and Japan after their defeat in World War II, according to analysis from economists at the British bank RBS. RBS analysts pegged the decline of German and Japanese GDP at the end of the fighting in 1945 at -66% and -52%, respectively.
"If we hypothetically assume that for Syria the post-conflict rebuilding period will begin in 2018," IMF analysts wrote, "and the economy grows at its trend rate of about 4½ percent, it would take the country about 20 years to reach its pre-war real GDP level."

Aleppo City: Terrorists Cut off from Outside World in East
FARS News Agency, Wed Jul 27, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA) - Syrian Armed Forces' Command Center announced today that it has completed the siege of Aleppo city in the East after cutting off all the supply routes of the terrorists in the region.
"The joint operations of the Syria army and popular forces have managed to cut off all the supply lines and passages used by the terrorists to move from the North to the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city," the command center said in an official statement.
The Syrian army called on civilians in Aleppo to cooperate with the Syrian government forces more than ever to enable them to reinvigorate the city's security and render the necessary services, including water and electricity to them.
A couple of days ago the Syrian Army cut off the main supply route of terrorists from Castillo to Eastern districts of the city, but this time and after recent advances in Northern Aleppo, even infiltration passages of the terrorists have come under full monitoring of the Syrian army.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces launch a new round of attacks on the terrorist groups' positions in al-Khalediyeh neighborhood and pushed the militants back from several building blocks in the Northern countryside of Aleppo.
"The government forces' advances in al-Khalediyeh, al-Lairamoun and Castillo highway have enabled the army soldiers and the popular forces to tighten grip on the terrorist groups in Northern Aleppo.

The command said that units of the armed forces and allied fighters carried out successful operations in Aleppo’s northern areas...
It called on all Syrian citizens to cooperate with the army in a bid to restore normal life to Aleppo and to put an end to violence in the city.
The General Command stressed that, out of its commitment to end bloodshed, it offers everyone who is bearing arms in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo a real chance to resolve their status either by turning in their weapons and remaining in the city or turning in their weapons and leaving it, calling on everyone to turn to reason and put national interest above other considerations so that security and stability can be restored to Aleppo.
On Tuesday, the Syrian army sent text messages to residents and militants in eastern Aleppo, saying it will grant safe passage to those wishing to leave the area.
It also urged eastern Aleppo residents to "join the national reconciliation and expel the foreign mercenaries" from their neighborhoods.

Assad: General amnesty has been an option for terrorists since day one of crisis
Syrian Arab News Agency, 27 July 2016

Answering a question by the Greek ITV channel about whether he intends to issue a general amnesty if he wins the current war, President al-Assad said: “It is virtually in effect because since the start of terrorist acts in Syria, we have offered this as an option for terrorists.”
“If they want to return to normal life and lay down arms they will get amnesty…We have been doing this for three years I think…
Amnesty is in effect now and is, as I see it, a good option to help those people who took up arms for different reasons to return to normal the political life in case they have their own go to political institutions…to head to the polls…to go for any kind of political measures available in any country,” he added.
The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces has been sending text messages calling on the militants in the eastern part of Aleppo city to lay down arms and seek a settlement of their legal status.

The Representatives of People's Protection Units from several villages in Syria signed
a reconciliation agreement with the government in Hama province on Wednesday. (FARS, 27-7-2016)

‘No more war!’:
Ex-CIA chief Leon Panetta shouted down at Democratic convention
Tom McCarthy, The Guardian, Thursday 28 July 2016

Democratic delegates drowned out the former defense secretary Leon Panetta with a chant of “no more war” on Wednesday night, prompting convention organisers to turn the lights out in their section of the Wells Fargo arena and the protesters to light it themselves using cellphones.
The former CIA director was on stage to show his support for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “In this election, there is only one candidate for president who has the experience, temperament and judgment to be commander-in-chief, and that is Hillary Clinton,” he said.
Panetta credited Clinton with supporting the decision to go after Osama bin Laden – “Hillary was clear: we have to go after Bin Laden” – and said she was determined to defeat “Isis, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, terrorists who pervert the teachings of Islam to kill innocent people.” ...
He added: “Meanwhile, Donald Trump says he gets his foreign policy experience from watching TV and running the Miss Universe pageant. If only it were funny. It is deadly serious. Donald Trump asks our troops to commit war crimes, endorses torture, spurns allies from Europe to Asia, suggests more countries to have nuclear weapons, and praises dictators from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin.”
But when Panetta referred to Trump’s call for a Russian hack on Clinton’s emails, he was interrupted by the chants..

hillary clinton in libya: supporting salafists, muslim brotherhood & al-qaeda

Hillary Clinton is still lying about her illegal war.
Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, October 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton has only one accomplishment; the Libyan War. Bombing Libya in support of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover was Hillary’s pet project.
The Pentagon fought Hillary’s illegal war every step of the way. Both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs opposed Hillary’s plan to bomb Libya.
One of the Chairman’s top aides said that he did not trust the reports coming out of the State Department and the CIA, then controlled by Clinton loyalist Leon Panetta.
When it was clear that the Clintonites had gotten their war on, an irritated Secretary of Defense Gates resigned after failing to stop Hillary’s war and was replaced by Panetta. Hillary was using the State Department to start a war while the military was trying to use diplomacy to stop a war. The Pentagon lost the power struggle and one of her minions took over the military to make sure that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Jihadists would be able to overrun another country...
Panetta, unlike Gates, shared Hillary’s Arab Spring agenda. After the war, he paid a visit to Tripoli and claimed that similar “uprisings” would be taking place around the Middle East, including in Syria.
Military people never stopped loathing Hillary Clinton for her war and its consequences, the usurpation of a defense matter, the Al Qaeda training camps and the abandonment of Americans in Benghazi.
Hillary Clinton smugly recited the same old lies about Gaddafi “threatening to massacre large numbers of the Libyan people” and European allies begging her to stop a “mass genocide.”
In reality, Hillary Clinton was the source of the claim that Gaddafi was about to commit genocide. This claim had no basis in reality and defense officials quickly shot it down...


Area C (Judea-Samaria: land of the Jews) covers 60% of the West Bank (about 330,000 hectares); Israel has retained almost complete control of this area, including security matters and all land-related civil matters, including land allocation, planning and construction, and infrastructure. Area C encompasses nearly all of the land in the eastern part of the West Bank, from the eastern slopes of the mountains of Samaria to the Jordan River, as well as broad swathes of land in the west and center of the West Bank. Area C includes all 125 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as the vast tracts of land Israel defined as being the jurisdictions of the local and regional councils of the settlements.
At the end of 2011, there were at least 325,000 settlers living in settlements and outposts.

Areas A and B (Palestinian getto's - 40% of the West Bank) were defined by drawing lines around Palestinian population centers at the time the Interim Agreement was signed. Some 2.4 million Palestinian residents live in these areas, which are subdivided into 165 separate units of land that have no territorial contiguity. All areas surrounding Areas A and B were defined as Area C.

UN: Israel policies forcing Palestinians to leave Area C of the West Bank
Tovah Larzaroff, Jerusalem Post, 27-7-2016

Israel has created conditions on the ground that force Palestinians to leave Area C of the West Bank, which is tantamount to a creeping annexation of the area, warned the United Nations on Wednesday.
The country’s “policies and practices have created a highly coercive environment in Area C that forces people [Palestinians] to leave,” said Natalie Grove, who is a representative of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
She spoke as part of an unusual conference in the Knesset that was organized by left-wing politicians, including Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh, to highlight Israeli actions against Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civil control.

“Forcible [population] transfer is a great breach of the Geneva Convention,” Grove said. “Israel creates humanitarian need in a place where it should be addressing it. When the humanitarian community seeks to address these needs, Israel tries to prevent it,” she said.
As the “occupying” power, Israel has obligations both under international humanitarian law and human rights law toward the Palestinians, she said.
They have the “status of protected population” and the UN is mandated to advocate for their rights, including the right to receive humanitarian assistance, she said. “The occupying power has the primary responsibility to meet the basic needs of the population in Area C. It does not do so,” she said.
Many of the Palestinians living in Area C have inadequate housing, shelters do not protect the residents from the heat, communities that were previously prosperous have become reliant on food aid.
“Palestinians who attempt to repair or upgrade their homes risk demolitions, those who install solar panels risk demolitions, those who dare to install a children’s play center risk demolitions,” Grove said.

Israel has cordoned off some 70 percent of Area C for its own use and has done little to help Palestinians develop a viable life there.
“Nearly all of the remaining 30 percent of Area C, much of which is private Palestinian property, is off limits for Palestinian development, because it requires permits that are almost never granted [by Israel].”

Clinton to ‘Reset’ Syria War, Focus on Ousting Assad
by Jason Ditz, antiwar.con, July 29, 2016

According to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy adviser, she would order a “full reeview” of the Syrian war as her first task upon taking office, with an eye toward a “reset” of the conflict to shift focus toward attacking the Assad government and imposing regime change.
Clinton’s aide, former Pentagon chief of staff Jeremy Bash, insisted that Assad’s was a “murderous regime” and that US foreign policy would be to escalate both the war against ISIS and this new war against Assad to get both “out of there” at the same time.
Syria has been the subject of a lot of debate in the Obama Administration, with the Pentagon seeking a focus on ISIS, the CIA wanting to shift entirely to fighting Assad, and Secretary of State John Kerry negotiating a deal with Russia to expand the war to include al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
Though Bash didn’t cover where the Nusra Front would fit into this, the suggestion that Clinton’s administration would escalate attacks on both seems designed to split the difference and placate hawks on both sides of the issue. The Obama Administration has already been steadily escalating the war since it began, to little effect, and Clinton’s policy would be that, just moreso.

Jeremy Bash, a top Pentagon official, is a son of Dr. Deborah Bash and Rabbi Marvin Bash of Arlington.

His mother retired as the program director of the Graduate Education Nurse-Midwifery Program at Georgetown University. His father is the chief rabbi of the Arlington Fairfax Jewish Congregation (conservative judaism).
Married to Dana Ruth Schwartz, the daughter of Francie and Stuart Schwartz of Montvale, N.J. Her father is the senior broadcast producer of the ABC News program ''Prime Time Live'' in New York. Her mother is a lecturer and an author on Jewish issues.

Conservative Judaism & Zionism:
A Jew must be a Zionist.

"Jews may disagree about how to express their support for Israel, and they may disagree with some of the policies of the State of Israel; but in our day only a small minority of Jews - and many anti-Semites - would claim that Judaism can be separated from Zionism, for support and concern for the State of Israel."
"The vast majority of those associated with Conservative Judaism from its very beginnings were active Zionists throughout their lives... Conservative Jews see Israel as the religious and cultural center of world Jewry."
"The Zionism of the Conservative Movement has taken concrete form in a number of ways. Conservative rabbis and laymen have been among the chief fundraisers for Israel throughout the years." (Beliefs of the Conservative Movement)

Hillary to Deliver Syria to Jihadists?
Daniel McAdams, Ron Paul Institute, July 29, 2016

Jeremy Bash: "A Clinton administration will not shrink from making clear to the world exactly what the Assad regime is. It is a murderous regime that violates human rights; that has violated international law; used chemical weapons against his own people; has killed hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of children."

Of course claims that Assad used chemical weapons on his own people is the long since disproven neocon cri de guerre to push Obama into an attack on the Syrian government. The 2013 gas attack near Ghouta was likely a provocation by the rebels hoping to draw the US directly into their fight.
This "he gassed his own people" line is the Syrian version of Saddam's "WMDs," a lie repeated ad infinitum to make the case for war.
As far as violating international law, the entire two year US intervention in Syria is in clear violation of international law. The US has no legal right to bomb Syria.
If Hillary becomes president and gets her way with a Syria "re-set" the prime beneficiary will be radical Islamists. There literally is no secular, moderate opposition to the Assad government.
How do we know the jihadists will come out on top? Her last great intervention, the "liberation" of Libya should be precedent. Gaddafi was no angel, but until shortly before he was overthrown he was a Washington ally, a secular counterpart to creeping Islamization of the region.
After the 2011 "liberation" strongly backed by Hillary, Libya has turned into a hellhole of competing radical Islamist militias and warlords. ISIS and al-Qaeda were unheard of in Libya before Hillary got her hands on it. Now it is rotten with them.

Ten Reasons Why Friends of Israel Should Vote Trump
By David Rubin, Arutz Sheva, 7/29/2016

There have been many doubters about Donald J. Trump, a political novice who achieved great success in the world of business, but from the biblical heartland of Israel, the answer is clear. Take note of the following facts, broken down into ten succinct reasons why American friends of Israel should vote for the GOP candidate to be the next President:

1. Donald Trump has pledged to move the American Embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
2. Trump has expressed support for Israel’s right to grant building permits for its citizens in Jerusalem, its capital city.
3. Trump has expressed support for Israel’s right to grant building permits for its citizens in its historical, biblical heartland, Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank).
4. Trump has been a consistent and strong opponent of the dangerous Iran nuclear deal...
5. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, “Conservative Republicans maintain strong support for Israel with fully 75% saying they sympathize with Israel compared with just 2% who sympathize with the Palestinians..."
6. A Trump administration is likely to consist of consistently and unquestionably strong, passionate friends of Israel...
7. Trump’s running mate, Gov. (and former U.S. Congressman) Mike Pence, has been a strong and consistent supporter of Israel.
8. The Influence of Family: Trump’s daughter Ivanka, with whom the candidate is very close, is a convert to Judaism, her husband is Jewish, and Trump has three Jewish grandchildren who attend a strongly pro-Israel Orthodox synagogue with their parents.
9. Hillary Clinton, during her term as Secretary of State, was harshly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu..
10. The GOP platform pointedly does not mention the possibly of a Palestinian state...

Pharisees & The Messianic Kingdom

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:26,27 -- Mt 24:37-39)

The Pharisees, who formed the most numerous political party in the little Roman province of Judea, made themselves the carriers of the Levitical idea in its most fanatical form, as it had found expression in Ezekiel, Ezra and Nehemiah; they were sworn to "the strict observance of Levitical purity".
The Pharisees stand ready to crush any attempt to reintegrate the Judeans in mankind.

A moderate party in Judaism was that of the Sadducees, which stood for "keeping the peace of the city" and avoiding violent conflict with the Roman overlords. They were more affluent and were also more sympathetic to the Hellenistic movement.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees were bitter foes. This internal dissension among Jews has continued for twenty-five hundred years into our time.

Under the domination of the Pharisees the Messianic idea first emerged... It was unknown to the earlier Israelite prophets; they never admitted the notion of an exclusive, master-race...
The function of the prophets was to emphasise moral values and a Just Society as the main content of the Covenant, sometimes above its more formal and religious aspects.

The mass of the Judeans expected that "the Anointed one", when he came, would restore their national glory; in the perfect theocratic state he would be their spiritual leader, but also their temporal political leader, a mighty warrior, who would reunite the scattered people in a supreme kingdom of this world.
The Messianic idea, as it took shape under the Pharisees, was not an expectation of any kingdom of heaven unrelated to material triumph on earth...

Read more: Saddam's Death, page 53

A getto-state or a binational state?
Uri Savir, Al-Monitor, July 31, 2016

In the Palestinian Authority (PA), there is a sense of great desperation.
People are following with disdain the US election campaigns and conventions. The Palestinian issue is not discussed, as all right-wing Israeli positions are adopted enthusiastically by both parties.

Israel: "The Palestinians have their full rights within the getto"
Read more: The Palestinian leadership is thinking of a game changer for 2017.
A senior PLO official who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said, “Obviously, the alternative to a two-state solution process is violence, an armed intifada and Hamas terror; yet we need to define a new political goal that is more realistic.” He told Al-Monitor that deliberations on this goal are taking place among the leadership of the PLO.
An option that is being seriously discussed is a binational state: to demand from Israel and the international community equal civil, political and human rights for the Palestinians of the West Bank, while delaying the statehood issue.
This, in his view, will leave the international community with no choice but to either act in favor of a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines or pressure Israel for equal rights for Palestinians in the given situation. It will force Israel to choose between being a binational state or an apartheid (i.e. getto) state.

The senior PLO official outlined a plan for the attainment of a binational state. The first step would be a Palestinian statement to the UN General Assembly that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination in an independent state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. Yet given the international and regional stalemate and Israel’s active annexation policies, the PA is demanding equal rights for Palestinian citizens in the West Bank within a binational state.
Such equal rights, according to the PLO official, would pertain to full political, civil and human rights.
Most importantly, the Palestinians would have the right to be elected to the parliament of the binational state and have the same voting rights like Israelis in the bilateral state.
The official told Al-Monitor, “Israelis must understand that the alternative to a two-state solution is a binational state in which Palestinians constitute half of the population.”

The Palestinian move is both of strategic and tactical nature... In the view of the Palestinian leadership, such a move would, at the very least, result in placing the Palestinian statehood issue on the international agenda, from which it seems to have evaporated because of the Islamic State threat and the US elections.
A senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official dealing with policy analysis of the Palestinian issue told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that no one in official Jerusalem takes this Palestinian threat seriously...: "The Palestinians of the West Bank have their full rights within the Palestinian Authority..."

Republican Jewish Coalition ad brands Democrats ‘anti-Israel’
Times of Israel, 2-8-2016

Released Friday (29-7-16) and titled “This Isn’t the Old Democrat Party Anymore,” the ad claims that “anti-Israel Democrats are on full display at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.”

President al-Assad on Army Day: Syrian Arab Army pillar of security and stability
Syrian Arab News Agency, 31 July 2016

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad asserted that the Syrian Arab Army is the most capable of confronting terrorism and eliminating it, stressing that it will always remain the pillar of security and stability in Syria and the region, and the bastion that encircles the homeland, defends its sovereignty, and protects its dignity.

Addressing the Armed Forces via the Army of the People magazine on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of establishing the Syrian Arab Army, President al-Assad said:
“I am proud to address you on this occasion which is dear to all our hearts: the Syrian Arab Army Day, and to salute you on the 71st anniversary of establishing it for all the heroics you and sacrifices that you have offered for more than five years up to this day in the face of the most vicious terrorist aggressive attack in the country’s history, and in confronting the projects of hegemony and new and old colonialism, all of which crashed down at the gates of our dignity, invulnerability, cohesion, and steadfastness.”
“You have fight and you are fighting with honor, you bore hardships, confronted challenges, and persevered and your are still persevering, being as we have always known you: proud men who hold true to their vows, who are faithful to the homeland and to its people who renew on each day their faith in you and their rallying around you and their unity with you in all squares and fields in the face of the enemies of humanity, civilization, and history...."

“Once again I salute you on this dear occasion, and I value highly your monumental effort and your constant vigil over the security of the homeland and your sacrifices for the sake of Syria’s precious soil. I assure you that the Syrian Arab Army will remain the bastion that encircles the homeland, defends its sovereignty, and protects its dignity."
President al-Assad concluded by praying for the souls of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the homeland...

Russian diplomat calls on media to recognize atrocities of ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria
TASS Russian news agency, 4-8-2016

Washington’s and its allies’ turning a blind eye on the crimes of Syria’s so-called ‘opposition,’ devaluates Western diplomat’s calls for stopping bloodshed in that country, Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook account.

If the Western partners, first of all in Washington, keep on turning a blind eye on these facts, "any talks on ‘stopping bloodshed in Syria’ will be simply absurd," the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman noted.
"I hope that the Western mass media find enough courage to write about crimes committed by the ‘moderate’ opposition and their sources of financing. My words are addressed to you, The New York Time, Le Figaro, Bild, and to all who regularly cites the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights."
"Especially to Bild.. I hope the tabloid finds room for a couple of paragraphs about atrocities of the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria. A couple of passages of truth has never hurt anyone yet," Zakharova underscored.

Efraim Inbar: Why kill the useful idiots? A cynical approach by a right wing Zionist.
The West should further weaken Islamic State, but not destroy it. A weak but functioning IS can undermine the appeal of the caliphate among radical Muslims; keep bad actors focused on one another rather than on Western targets; and hamper Iran.

The destruction of ISIS is a strategic mistake
Professor Efraim Inbar, Arutz Sheva, 03/08/2016

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently gathered defense ministers from allied nations to plan what officials hope will be the decisive stage in the campaign to eradicate the Islamic State (IS) organization. This is a strategic mistake.

It is true that IS has ignited immense passion among many young and frustrated Muslims all over the world, and the caliphate idea holds great appeal among believers.
But the relevant question is what can IS do, particularly in its current situation? The terrorist activities for which it recently took responsibility were perpetrated mostly by lone wolves who declared their allegiance to IS; they were not directed from Raqqa. On its own, IS is capable of only limited damage.

A weak IS is, counterintuitively, preferable to a destroyed IS.
IS is a magnet for radicalized Muslims in countries throughout the world. These volunteers are easier targets to identify, saving intelligence work. They acquire destructive skills in the fields of Syria and Iraq that are of undoubted concern if they return home, but some of them acquire shaheed status while still away - a blessing for their home countries. If IS is fully defeated, more of these people are likely to come home and cause trouble...
The collapse of IS will produce a terrorist diaspora that might further radicalize Muslim immigrants in the West. Most counter-terrorism agencies understand this danger.
Prolonging the life of IS probably assures the deaths of more Muslim extremists at the hands of other bad guys in the Middle East, and is likely to spare the West several terrorist attacks...
The continuing existence of IS serves a strategic purpose. Why help the brutal Assad regime win the Syrian civil war?
Is it in the West’s interests to strengthen the Russian grip on Syria and bolster its influence in the Middle East? Is enhancing Iranian control of Iraq congruent with American objectives in that country?
Furthermore, Hizballah is being seriously taxed by the fight against IS, a state of affairs that suits Western interests...

The Western distaste for IS brutality and immorality should not obfuscate strategic clarity..
Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm 'the good guys'...
The defeat of IS would encourage Iranian hegemony in the region, buttress Russia’s role, and prolong Assad’s tyranny. Tehran, Moscow, and Damascus do not share our democratic values and have little inclination to help America and the West.

The author is Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and the Director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies.

Flashback: America & its Useful Idiots

In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

It has become clear that the US’s main objectives in Syria is not their expressed goal of ‘fighting ISIS’, but regime change, isolating Russian influence, the Balkanization and the creation of failed states.
US presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself stated that ‘removing Assad is the top priority”...

The US sees the Syrian state as one of the last spheres of Russian influence beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union, and a threat to its Israeli ally in the region. The presence of ISIS and other terrorists groups serves these interests.
The US has a history of using terrorism to topple governments friendly to Russia.

Al Qaeda itself was borne of the US objective to topple the Soviet friendly government of Afghanistan. The dismemberment of Russian-friendly Serbia and the creation of Kosovo was done via the same means...
Syrian Girl, Global Research, Feb 23, 2016 - First published in October 2015 at the outset of the Russian bombing campaign.

"I think the Western powers - the US, especially followed by Britain and France - are using Islamic extremism as their foot soldiers in conquering various countries.
They are quite confident that once they’ve used these fanatics to get rid of regimes they don’t like, then they will be able to take over what they want – the pieces that are left of that country for themselves...
They will keep using Islamic extremism here and there feeling that these are the useful idiots that they can control eventually."
Diana Johnstone, Russia Today, 17-2-2016

Read more: Saddam's Death, Page 66

Samantha Power: Don't fight 'the good guys'
US calls on Assad to end ‘starve and surrender’ tactics against civilians
By Rudaw, 4-8-2016

In a series of tweets the US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power has called on Bashar al-Assad’s regime to allow non-military personnel to pass through Castello Road in the Syrian rebel-held city of Aleppo.
“In Aleppo, the regime and allied militias must immediately allow all non-military traffic to move along Castello Road,” Power said in a tweet.
Power went on to emphasize the urgency that Russia must halt its airstrikes and support for the regime’s encirclement of the city as well as refrain from targeting civilians.
“We call on Russia to stop its airstrikes on civilian targets, as well as to halt its support for the regime’s encirclement of Aleppo,” she said.
Power referred to the regime tactics as “barbaric” and claimed that they are meant to “starve” out the people of Aleppo.
“We call on Assad regime to lift its deadly siege of all cities & towns where it is using these barbaric starve or surrender tactics,” she said.

Flashback: Obama's Women Advisers Pushed War Against Libya
Robert Dreyfuss March 19, 2011

We’d like to think that women in power would somehow be less pro-war, but in the Obama administration at least it appears that the bellicosity is worst among Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power.

All three are liberal interventionists, and all three seem to believe that when the United States exercises military force it has some profound, moral, life-saving character to it. Far from it.
Unless President Obama’s better instincts manage to reign in his warrior women the United States could find itself engaged in open war in Libya, and soon.
The troika pushed Obama into accepting the demands of neoconservatives, such as Joe Lieberman, John McCain and The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol, along with various other liberal interventionists outside the administration, such as John Kerry. The rode roughshod over the realists in the administration.

The US is bombing Libya again. It's a too-familiar vicious cycle
Trevor Timm, The Guardian, 2 August 2016

Just five years after bombing Libya to dispose of Muammar Gaddafi, the US is now officially bombing the country again, this time against alleged Isis terrorist strongholds that cropped up in the power vacuum created by the last bombing.
It’s yet another episode of the War on Terror Circle of Life, where the US bombs a country and then funnels weapons into the region, which leads to chaos and the opportunity for terrorist organizations, which then leads more US bombing.

Like usual in the Obama administration’s wars, there was no congressional vote on the latest airstrikes in Libya and no declaration of war, as required by the constitution. The administration is pinning the legal authority for this military incursion on the 2001 Authorization for Military Force that was meant for Afghanistan and the perpetrators of 9/11, al-Qaida.
Isis, of course, didn’t exist until years later, and the two groups are now enemies, but those technicalities don’t seem to bother the Obama administration, which is continuing to expand US military presence abroad with little to no public input.

The pattern of bombing-chaos-bombing in Libya follows the same pattern as Iraq, which was largely free of al-Qaida members before the US invasion in 2003...
With even less fanfare, the same cycle has been playing out in Yemen, which the US has been backing in its appalling and indiscriminate Saudi Arabian bombing campaign that has killed thousands of civilians and led to many calls of war crimes... The US quietly announced in May that it now has troops inside Yemen, fighting the same al-Qaida that it helped strengthen by supporting the Saudi war.
And where will we be in Syria in six months? Well, if Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election, her campaign is already promising a “reset” on US–Syria policy, where the military has already been dropping bombs for more than a year...

Not a one state- nor a two state-solution..., just a Jewish State...
and a lot of Palestinian getto's, populated with stateless people
Interview with Trump's Israel advisor, a Jew who 'truly loves Israel'
YNet News, 4-8-2016

Q: Who is David Friedman, and why has Mr. Trump made you the gate keeper on policies relative to Israel?
A: "Well, first and foremost I'm somebody who loves Israel and someone who has Donald Trump's trust. We've known each other for 15 years. I've worked with him in some challenging circumstances and have gained his trust and I would hope his respect. When he was called upon to select advisers in various areas, one of those areas was the relationship between the US and Israel and he (Trump) wanted to select advisers who he knew had a deep love and commitment to the state of Israel."

A: "His position is not a one-state solution. His position is that he's observed the obvious, which is that a two-state solution over the past generation has been attempted over and over again and has been a failure.
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result—and he's not insane. To blindly embrace a two-state solution because it's been an American policy for the past 25 years is not something he's going to do..."

Q: Hillary Clinton has just about everyone suggesting she is the most qualified person ever to be president. Where did she go wrong with the Middle East—if she did?
A: "I don't think she has made a right decision. I think she said some helpful things when she was the senator from New York when she had a Jewish constituency. As soon as she became secretary of state, the first thing she did was to embrace a unilateral settlement freeze. I think it completely poisoned the environment. I'm not aware of anything she did that is particularly good. I can name off the top of my head things that were nasty, like ripping up the letter from George Bush to Ariel Sharon, which I think was the only thing Israel got from evacuating Gaza.
"I don't think she (Hillary Clinton) particularly likes Israel. I think she likes the kind of elite left among the Jewish people of Israel and in America like the Max Blumenthals, the Sidney Blumenthals and the people of that ilk who would like to turn Israel into a sort of Singapore. I think she's terrible for Israel."

Q: American Jews have shown little interest in voting foreign policy in a presidential election. How will you change that? Can you change that?
A: "Look, it's a great disappointment to me that the Jewish Left doesn't support Israel as a priority. I'm hoping that as the American Jewish community recognizes the stark differences between a Trump administration and a Clinton administration on Israel that they will reprioritize Israel in their voting calculus.

Donald Trump: the savior of 'the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria'
Arutz Sheva, 15-4-2016

In a meeting with Orthodox Jews Thursday, Donald Trump named his two advisors on Israel - and the names bespeak good news for nationalists who believe in Israel's right to the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
The two are Trump's chief lawyer, Jason D. Greenblatt, a real estate attorney from Teaneck, New Jersey, and another real estate lawyer, bankruptcy expert David M. Friedman of the Kasowitz law firm.
“I don’t think I can find better,” Trump said. “Jason’s very much a consultant to me on Israel, on everything. He’s a tremendously talented lawyer, one of the great real estate lawyers of the City of New York, and he (Greemblatt) has tremendous passion for Israel. When he goes on vacation, he goes to Israel.”
Greenblatt is very supportive of the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise, and Friedman is a leading commentator on Arutz Sheva and serves as the President of American Friends of Bet El Institutions.

Obama declares himself a 'feminist'
Ahram online|AFP, Thursday 4 Aug 2016

A Christian Nation?

In a birthday editorial Thursday, US President Barack Obama described himself as a feminist and urged renewed effort to break down gender stereotypes.

The father of two girls, who was raised by a single mother, penned an essay for Glamour magazine, declaring "this is an extraordinary time to be a woman." "I say that not just as President but also as a feminist."
Listing strides made by women, from gaining the vote to cracking open previously off-bounds careers, Obama said "the most important change may be the toughest of all -- and that's changing ourselves."
He said raising Sasha, 15, and Malia, 18, had opened his eyes to the pressure girls are under. "You see the subtle and not-so-subtle social cues transmitted through culture. You feel the enormous pressure girls are under to look and behave and even think a certain way."

"We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear," he wrote.
Obama turned 55 years old on Thursday.

War, conquest and imperialist domination
Christian Zionism - Terror In Jesus' Name
By Yoginder Sikand, 12-14-2005

Represented by literally hundreds of small denominations and churches today, particularly in America, Christian Zionism is today a formidable force and a major actor in global politics.
Christian Zionism comes in various shades, but the core of its message is total, unflinching support to the state of Israel and the Zionist imperialist project.
War, conquest and imperialist domination, based on a fanatic insistence on the absolute truth of Christianity and the racial superiority of the Jews lie at the very heart of Christian Zionism.
Christian Zionists believe that the Jews are God's 'Chosen People' and that God has given the Jews the absolute right to complete control over not just Palestine but, indeed, a vast stretch of territory, extending from present-day Egypt to Iraq, the so-called 'Greater Israel'. God, they claim, has selected the Jews above all other people.
Hence, they insist, those who oppose the imperialist project of the advocates of 'Greater Israel' or the Zionist occupation of Palestine are 'God's enemies', deserving to be crushed by every available means, including outright war and decimation.

Advocating Israel does not mean, however, that Christian Zionists accept Judaism as a legitimate means of salvation after Jesus...
Yet, because Christian Zionists are dogged defenders of the state of Israel and are fiercely anti-Arab and anti-Muslim, they have been able to establish a close nexus with right-wing Jewish groups and with the Israeli state and are today an integral part of the American-Israeli axis...
Christian Zionism, rooted in tradition of the Crusades and a long history of Church triumphalism, is a recipe for global war and Christian imperialism.
Moreover, it reflects a total lack of genuine spirituality, seeking to reduce the notion of God into a petty, whimsical and racist dictator, who willingly urges the slaughter of innocents in order to protect the expansionist designs of his supposedly 'Chosen People'.
Of course, Christian Zionism is hardly unique in its use of religion for such blatantly political ends, but given the immense clout enjoyed by its advocates today, especially in America, it is a much more menacing threat to world peace than is sometimes imagined and cannot be simply dismissed as the ravings of lunatics on the fringe.