Not a one state- nor a two state-solution..., just a Jewish State...
Obama declares himself a 'feminist'
|A CHRISTIAN Nation & a SWEET Lord?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
"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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against exploiting terror groups for political goals, and strongly rejected the classification of terrorists into “good” and “bad” ones.
“It is unacceptable and extremely dangerous to try to exploit terrorist and radical extremist groups out of political and geopolitical interests,” Russia's TASS news agency quoted Putin as saying in an interview with Azerbaijan’s state news agency Azertac on Friday.
“In this endeavor, there can be no double standards; terrorists cannot be divided into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ones,” he added, in a clear reference to Washington’s categorization of terrorist groups operating the Syria into good and bad ones.
In the few years, some Western countries have been using the terms, “moderate” and “extremist” in a reference to the militants in countries like Syria.
Such labels have been used as a pretext to help those insurgents that have been wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.
The Russian leader also expressed his deep concern about two hotbeds of instability, one in Afghanistan and the other in the Middle East, due to the increased flow of drugs, arms trafficking and movement of terrorists.
“The recent terrorist attacks perpetrated in various regions of the world prove yet again that terrorism can be addressed solely through a common effort guided by the norms and principles of international law and coordinated by the UN,” he added.
The Rule of Law
Derived from internationally accepted standards, the World Justice Project’s definition of the rule of law is a system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:
- 1. The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
- 2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights.
- 3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
- 4. Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.
We Christians have been called to follow the footsteps of Lord Jesus Christ in being people of peace and pursuers of love and the goodwill for all humanity.
Our ancestors watered this blessed land with their blood; they were martyrs and witnesses of Christian faith. They planted monasteries together with the grains of wheat and churches with the palm trees as well as schools, hospitals etc. Therefore, we, as their descendants, have to protect what we inherited over thousands of years including land, history, language, values and spirituality.
The terrorism has not been defeated yet; the conflicts are not over; violations of human rights are still growing at different levels; the efforts for national reconciliation came to a halt; and the promises of eradicating corruption, reforming, establishing a civil government, and fighting against unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and diseases, did not go beyond being promises only.
In spite of all that, Iraqis (of different backgrounds) are still hoping for a better future, especially after the latest victories that have been achieved in retreating ISIS...
We would like to propose some practical ideas for post-ISIS situation:
* 1.Inviting Iraqis to deal wisely and reasonably with this critical turning point of Iraq's history away from revenge.
* 2.Standing against all those who attempt to "kidnap" our religion and homeland, using them for their own agenda and claiming the custody of both.
* 3.Appealing to whoever is supporting such organizations and supplying them with money and weapons to stop committing these "mortal" sins, because terrorist is not the individual who executes the "crime" only, but is indeed the person who preach, plan and fund such destructive ideology.
* 4.Don't give up. Submitting to frustration and despair is forbidden. Even though, we admit that we are all sharing the pain and suffering in these circumstances, but that should not lead us to give up and lose hope.
* 5.To defeat fanatical ideology, we must replace it with an alternative open-minded one. So, we need to campaign in order to dismantle such damaging ideology by building a new culture with a clear vision based on the values of mutual acceptance [..] and approval of commonly shared issues such as peace, stability, justice and equality.
* 6.Setting up a civilian political system as a new social contract (constitution) that addresses the causes of the crisis away from the perspectives of sectarian, national, religious, and political parties.... This way, Iraqis will illuminate as one big beautifully diversified family.
Some media outlets published a statement falsely alleging the Muslim Brotherhood has ruled that Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled Al-Obeidi is an apostate and an infidel, and has threatened to kill him. The Muslim Brotherhood asserts the following:
1. We have not issued any statement of this kind. The alleged statement is fabricated to demonize us.
2. Our fundamental principles and constants dictate that we never call individuals or societies apostates or infidels, or issue rulings accusing them of apostasy. We – as is well known about us, and as we always declare – are "preachers and reformers, not judges".
3. Debates and disagreements that arise within communities and societies are only possible to settle through dialogue, not apostasy fatwas and death threats.
4. We appeal to the media for accuracy and caution...
Dr Talaat Fahmi, Muslim Brotherhood Media Spokesman, Thursday – August 4, 2016
Did they change? Or are they speaking with two mouths?
Muslim Brotherhood 2012
|Egyptian Clerics 1-3-2012|
"It Is an Obligation to Kill Bashar Al-Assad"
Salah Abdel Maqsoud (Born: 1958) Minister of information, former Morsi presidential campaign spokesman. Has been a journalist since 1979, working on several Islamist magazines including Egyptian Dawa, al-Bashir (1985), The Banner of Islam (1987 and 1994), and Harvest of Thought (1992).
In August 2012, Abdel Maqsoud was appointed minister of information, a move that riled non-Islamist journalists and supporters of press freedom. Political activist Hazem Abdel Azim called him a “Brotherhood fanatic” and “Ikhwani to the core,” and some suspected that his relationship with powerful MB deputy supreme guide Khairat al-Shater had played a key role in his appointment.
Western media outlets such as the BBC were quick to declare Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib "a respected figure within Syria" who holds "moderate" political views, citing his trips to Britain and the United States, as well as his teaching experience at the Dutch Institute in Damascus, as evidence. ...
While Khatib used his post-election speech to call for equal rights for "all parts of the harmonious Syrian people," his previous rhetoric toward his country's minorities has been nothing short of virulent. One of his articles describes Shiite using the slur rawafid, or "rejectionists"; he even goes further, criticizing Shiites' ability to "establish lies and follow them." Such language, needless to say, will hardly reassure the country's Alawite community, a Shiite offshoot to which Assad belongs.
Khatib is a fan of Qatar-based Egyptian televangelist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. His website places Qaradawi on equal footing with Tunisia's Mohamed Bouazizi, whose self-immolation set off the Arab revolutions, and praised the Egyptian preacher as "our great Imam."
Qaradawi is a controversial figure who has been denied entry to France and Britain for his support of suicide bombings.. Given Qaradawi's Qatari connections, Khatib's praise of the cleric may be an indication of where his loyalties lie.
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! That man wants to exterminate the people (sha‘b). As for me, I protect the people (sha‘b) and I issue this fatwa: Whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free us from his evil, to free Libya and its great people from the evil of this man and from the danger of him, let him do so!
It is not permissible (lâ yajûzu) to any officer, be he a officer pilot, or a ground forces officer, or an air forces officer, or any other, it is not permissible to obey this man within disobedience (ma‘siya) [to God], in evil (sharr), in injustice (zulm), in oppression (baghî ‘alâ) of [His] servants.
He talks about everything, which makes him exhibit A for anyone seeking to demonize Islam. A justification for every stupidity can be found in Qaradawi's words, as long as one searches long enough. On the other hand, Muslims refer to the search for the appropriate dogma as "fatwa shopping." To them, Qaradawi is a hypermarket of dogmas.
During a visit to London, then Mayor Ken Livingstone asked the sheikh how he felt about the rights of homosexuals. "He told me that he was against attacks on homosexuals," Livingstone recalls. But the mufti isn't opposed to 100 lashes for gays and lesbians if that is the punishment imposed by a Sharia judge, at least according to statements he has made on his program.
He attended Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he met Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Banna offered an Islamic alternative to the alleged ills of modern life: corruption and gambling, insolent women and provocative writings, alcohol and the neglect of the poorest members of society. In a word: godlessness.
Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser imprisoned the sheikh three times because of his Islamist activities. In 1961, Qaradawi went into exile in Qatar, where he still lives today. With the protection of the Emir of Qatar, Qaradawi was able to build his fatwa empire, a realm of schools and various forms of media.
For some reason, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the guru of Islamists in the Arab world. In fact, the reason is obvious: there is such a dearth of leaders in the movement that this man has become widely influential.
It would be unfair to say that his influence stems solely from the exposure that he is provided by Qatar through his weekly TV program on Al Jazeera. Qaradawi is a prolific author and he uses simple language to issue his declarations and rulings about interpretations of Shariah.
Qaradawi fled Egypt when Nasser figured out that he could not allow the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to remain as a fifth column inside Egypt. It was no secret that while Nasser was aligned with the socialist camp, the MB served as a tool of the US and Gulf regime during the Cold War...
Gulf regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE primarily) opened their borders and universities and ministries to the Islamists. They filled top posts in government, particularly in education, awqaf (religious endowment), and even in policy making. Sudanese Islamists were instrumental in drafting the constitutions of several Gulf states.
Qaradawi was hosted in Qatar and he taught at its university. But unlike most Islamists in exile, he established a close relationship with the current Emir. Qaradawi was a key ingredient in the formation of Al Jazeera, and he even helped staff the network with many Islamists from several Arab countries.
Qaradawi has been noted for his political cowardice: not only for his subservience (like all other Islamists in the GCC countries) to the ruler, but for strictly adhering to the foreign policies of the ruler. Qaradawi never ever criticized Bashar Assad and even showered him with praise, until the Emir decided to break with the Assad regime. Qaradawi was also favorable in his views on Iran until this past year when Qatar changed course.
Qaradawi is but one case of a phenomenon in the Arab world: a cleric for hire.
Read more: Saddam's Death, Page 19 (2012)
Damascus, SANA – Syria’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun called on all Syrians to return to their homeland, stressing that Syria welcomes all of its sons to come back and take part in the reconstruction of their country.
Hassoun was speaking during a dialogue session held at the Holy Cross Church in Damascus under the title “A Dialogue from Heart to Heart” organized by the Syrian National Forum on Saturday.
He underlined the Syrian people’s love for life and peace, hatred to war and destruction and commitment to their homeland, noting to the terrorist nature of war which Syria is facing and that terrorism should not be associated with Islam because terrorism has no religion.
The Grand Mufti called for combating takfiri mentality with the enlightenment mentality and enhancing dialogue among all Syrians to unite ranks in order to confront the conspiracy and the six-year war.
He indicated to the divisional mentality used by western powers to fragment countries into small states in order to dominate their resources and capabilities, adding that Syria is paying the price for its national and principled stances.
Hassoun noted that Syrians will always be adherent to their homeland, army and leadership...
read more: page 18Flashback 2008: "That what is sacred in the world is man" General Mufti of the Syrian Arabic Republic, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun
Ahead of the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an interview with TASS commented on Moscow-Ankara relations, the military coup attempt, the Kurdish question, Syrian peace settlement and anti-terrorism efforts.
- Mr. President, What is your agenda?
- Our countries are key players in the region and they are going to accomplish a great deal together. It is with this conviction that I will arrive in Russia on a visit. I don’t have the slightest doubt that Mr. Putin has been making preparations for the visit in the same fashion...
I envision this visit as a new landmark in bilateral relations, a clean slate from which to start anew.
All world leaders must resist treason, government coup attempts and attacks on their own people.
- Just recently Turkey experienced a very dramatic moment There was an attempted coup against the government. How did you manage to quash the rebellion?
- Those who tried to stage this coup against the government and the people, failed to take into account key factors. Although they had penetrated deeply into government agencies, the army, the police and the judiciary, we have police and military servicemen who refused to join the coup plotters...
Amid these events, I received a phone call from Mr. Putin already on the second day. As we talked he said that he was against the coup and would remain on our side. I recall his high-principled position with gratitude and I thank him on behalf of myself and the Turkish people.
All world leaders must resist treason, government coup attempts and attacks on their own people.
All citizens of our country are guaranteed freedom of conscience
- I know, Mr. President, that you pay much attention to creating Turkey’s new fundamental law, the new Constitution. You are the architect of the new legislation. What fundamentally new features will the new Constitution have? Should the people adopt it at your initiative? And how will this Constitution reconcile the traditions of a secular Turkish state with the Muslim religion?
- I don’t know what you understanding of secularism is. We understand secularism as a state of affairs that allows an individual of any religion to feel free to profess his or her faith. We declared that very clearly from the outset when we established our party. In other words, Christians, Muslims and Jews are free to profess their faith without restrictions. Muslims account for 99% of Turkey’s population. Everybody knows that Russia’s population is mostly Christian.
All citizens of our country are guaranteed freedom of conscience, just as they are in Russia. These guarantees are established by our Constitution. Turkey is not a clerical state. One should remember that.
Alongside secular features, our state has a social-democratic basis. For some reason, the West confuses these notions and keeps hinting that Turkey is about to change its secular foundation. But that won’t be. We have repeatedly proven that by action over the past 14 years that we have been in power. The processes that are afoot in European society are also in progress within Turkish society. But there is a certain system of values. Attention should be paid to it, but we do not dictate it to all social strata. Each individual lives one’s own life, believes in things that he deems right and acts in the way he regards as proper.
No to ASSAD. YES to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and America
- Mr. President, both you and those in Russia have said that the Syrian settlement will be among the most important issues that will be discussed in St. Petersburg. How do you see a solution to this issue? This is a very burdensome issue for Russia, for you and for the entire world. How do you see it?
- I’ll tell you in a frank and straightforward manner. Basically, Russia is fundamentally the key and most important player in establishing peace in Syria. I believe it is necessary to solve this crisis with the help of mutual action by Russia and Turkey. If the talk is about widening the circle of participants, then I already told my dear friend Vladimir [Putin] earlier: if necessary, we’ll also involve Iran in the effort. We can invite Qatar, Saudi Arabia and America. In this regard, we can form a wide circle of participants.
We don’t want Syria’s disintegration, but the departure of Bashar Assad... This is the condition for preventing this scenario. Syria’s unity cannot be kept with Assad. And we cannot support a murderer who has committed acts of state terror.
Assad is supporting ISIS
- The struggle against the Islamic State is a very serious issue for Russia as well... How can the Islamic State be fought..?
- We see our strategy in the following way. If we look at the sources of profit they get from the sale of energy resources, we’ll see that the government of Syria is one of them. It is one of the places where the Islamic State sells its oil...
Military Coup In Syria
The commander of the Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad, sends out a message regarding the anticipated Zero Hour.
Flashback: Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War
Turkey, whose relations with Syria had been friendly over the previous decade, condemned its President Bashar Assad over the crackdown on protests in 2011 and requested his departure from office.
Moscow, SANA – Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov stressed that the only way for solving the crisis in Syria is represented through unifying efforts to combat terrorism and resuming political dialogue among the Syrian sides, pointing out that imposing foreign solutions would lead to the continuation of instability in the country.
Safronkov said during a UN Security Council’s session that the humanitarian situation in Syria should not be politicized and used intentionally or unintentionally for protecting terrorists or other members who make residents of Aleppo human shields and prevent them form leaving the city, in addition to shelling the humanitarian corridors and stealing humanitarian aid. He also pointed out that Russia has organized, in cooperation with the Syrian government, humanitarian corridors in Aleppo...
Safronkov clarified that there is a feeling that some states have no desire or willingness or ability to put an end to terrorists in Syria or either separate them from the so-called “moderate opposition”, which is being hided behind crying over the humanitarian situation in Aleppo.
The Russian Diplomat said that the main issue for “Damascus enemies” and those hindering the unification of international efforts is keeping a certain level of tension in the humanitarian side, clarifying that this worry is hypocritical, considering the unilateral sanctions.
He emphasized that it is time the unilateral sanctions imposed on Syria to be abolished, to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday hosted Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in their first encounter since Ankara downed one of Moscow's warplanes last November, sparking a deep diplomatic crisis.
"Your visit today, despite a very difficult situation regarding domestic politics, indicates that we all want to restart dialogue and restore relations between Russia and Turkey," Putin said as the two met in Saint Petersburg.
The visit to Russia is Erdogan's first foreign trip since the failed coup against him in July, which sparked a purge of political opponents and cast a shadow over Turkey's relations with the West.
"I know that I was one of the first who called you to express support regarding the crisis," Putin said of the coup attempt. "I want to say once again that this is our principled position, we are against any unconstitutional actions."
Erdogan said the Turkish people were "happy" Putin had expressed his support following the attempted coup, expecting the two countries to "enter into a very different phase with the steps we will take and have taken."
The shooting down of a Russian fighter jet by a Turkish F-16 over the Syrian border last November saw a furious Putin slap economic sanctions on Turkey and launch a blistering war of words with Erdogan that seemed to irrevocably damage burgeoning ties. But Putin in June said Erdogan had sent a letter expressing his regret over the incident and announced a rollback of some of the sanctions.
Western Backed Jihadis
Jihadi, or jihadist, refers to a person who believes that an Islamic state governing the entire community of Muslims must be created, and that this necessity justifies violent conflict with those who stand in its way.
Saudi Arabia urges UN to protect families in Aleppo
Egypt considers the recently-issued UK Home Office guidance allowing members of the Muslim Brotherhood to apply for asylum in Britain as "not positive" for the mutual relations between both countries, foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said at a press conference in Cairo.
In statements reported by the state-owned MENA agency on Tuesday, Shoukry said that although the British document was a framework clarifying some asylum-related procedures that should be taken in a context of non-exaggeration, it may have negative impact on Egyptian-British relations.
He said that the guidance makes the “unfounded” assertions that Egyptian authorities target a specific group or that the Egyptian judiciary is not fulfilling its role in ensuring fair trials, describing it as a “fallacious aspersion.”
The Egyptian foreign minister said that Egypt always briefs international partners about crimes committed by the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, including terrorist acts that target security forces and citizens.
muslim brotherhood egypt
The Brotherhood was designated a terrorist organisation by Egypt's interim authorities in December 2013, with the freezing of the assets of many of its members and all affiliated NGOs.
The UK’s Home Office guidance, issued in August, states that Brotherhood members in Egypt are eligible for political asylum in the UK if they can prove they are under threat of persecution in Egypt.
The guidance states that high-profile or politically active Brotherhood members in Egypt “may be able to show that they are at risk of persecution, including of being held in detention, where they may be at risk of ill-treatment, trial also without due process and disproportionate punishment.”
Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell said in an interview Monday that U.S. policy in Syria should be to make Iran and Russia “pay a price” by arming local groups and instructing them to kill Iranian and Russian personnel in the country.
Morell was appearing on the Charlie Rose show on PBS in the wake of his publicly endorsing Hillary Clinton on the New York Times opinion pages.
Clinton has expressed support for increased military intervention in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government. Iran and Russia are backing Assad.
“What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price,” Morell said. “When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”
Morell said the killing of Russians and Iranians should be undertaken “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it, you don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this.’ But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”
Morell also proposed that U.S. forces begin bombing Syrian government installations, including government offices, aircraft and presidential guard positions. The former acting CIA director said that he wanted to “scare Assad.” Morell clarified that he wasn’t actually calling for Assad’s assassination.
He compared his proposal to American support for groups that targeted Russian forces in Afghanistan during the 1980’s — efforts that later helped incubate al Qaeda.
Morell’s endorsement of Clinton was quickly seen as a sign that he was interested in a role in a possible Clinton administration. He wrote that Clinton would be a “highly qualified commander in chief” and a “strong proponent of a more aggressive approach” to the conflict in Syria.
Michael Morell was a top CIA officer who played a critical role in the most important counterterrorism events of the past two decades.
Morell was by President Bush's side on 9/11/01 when terrorists struck America and in the White House Situation Room advising President Obama on 5/1/11 when America struck back-killing Usama bin Ladin.
For three decades, Morell worked at the CIA, rising to acting director before retiring in 2013; he is now a national-security correspondent for CBS News. Morell joined the CIA out of college and never stopped being impressed by the organization and its people. CIA employees are "the finest public servants" he knows
In 2000, he assumed the coveted position of daily briefer for George W. Bush. Six and often seven days a week, Morell delivered the PDB – President’s Daily Brief – in the Oval Office, or anywhere in the world Bush was traveling. Once again, he was charged with deciding what intelligence items merited the attention of an immensely powerful figure. The information he presented directly shaped the President’s worldview and informed his policy decisions.
"Zionism regards unity of Arabs as contradictory to its existence. Therefore, Zionism's line of defense is based on the principle that the Arab nation must be broken... It is necessary for Zionism to revive all the old historical frictions that took place in the path of nationhood, so it can use them [..] to break up the fabric of Arab nations." Saddam Hussein (The Saddam's tapes, 1978-2001, page 67)
As Palestinians in the Occupied Territories begin preparations for local elections which are scheduled for October, division and factionalism are rearing their ugly head. Palestinian political platforms and social media are abuzz with self-defeating propaganda: Fatah supporters attacking Hamas’ alleged failures, and Hamas’ supporters doing the same...
Hamas on a path to self-destruction?
Hamas, honoring 'useful idiot' Yusuf Qaradawi, the leading force behind the destruction of Libya, Iraq and Syria. (Qaradawi = Qatar. Qatar = USA. USA = Israel. Israel = Divide & Rule, the enemy of Arab Nationalism)
However, there can also be no denial that these factors alone should not have jeopardized Palestinian unity, if the factions were keen on it.
But the truth is, for many within the Palestinian leadership, unity is not an urgent matter and, for them, the ascendancy of the faction will always trump the centrality of the homeland.
This is partly because factional politics is deeply rooted in Palestinian society. And like the Israeli occupation, factionalism is an enemy of the Palestinian people. It has constantly overwhelmed any attempt at fostering dialogue and true democracy among Palestinians. Without unity in politics, it is difficult to envisage unity in purpose, a national liberation project, a unified resistance strategy and the eventual freedom of the Palestinians.
There can never be a free Palestine without Palestinians first freeing themselves from factional repression, for which they, and only they, are ultimately responsible.
For Israel, Palestinian factionalism is a central piece in its strategy to divide and rule. Sadly, many Palestinians are playing along, and by doing so are jeopardizing their own salvation...
|Aleppo & Al-Qaeda
Saudi cleric, Abdullah al-Muhaysini, the prominent leader and top recruiter of the al-Qaeda Syrian branch, was filmed preaching his followers inside rebel-held districts of Aleppo. He was shown in the video standing amid a group of armed militants, taunting Russia and Iran about his men’s ability to defeat their forces in southern Aleppo.
On Wednesday, terrorists shelled residential areas in Aleppo’s southwestern neighborhood of Hamdania, Syrian news agency SANA reports. Government forces have been engaged in fierce fighting with the terrorists in the area in the past four days.
Since Sunday “nearly 1,000 militants were killed and over 2,000 injured,” the Russian General Staff told media. The operation was backed by the Russian Air force, targeting the positions of insurgents and their supply routes around Aleppo.
Some of the terrorist groups tried to flee using a “safe” corridor, Rudskoy added. In the end of July special humanitarian routes for civilians around Aleppo were established by the Russian Reconciliation Center and Syrian forces.
Those civilians remaining are facing a dire humanitarian situation. To facilitate the escape of civilians, Moscow on Wednesday proposed daily three-hour ceasefires for humanitarian corridors in the city. According to Rudskoy, it is due to take effect starting August 11 from 10 am to 1 pm local time.
Since the establishing of humanitarian corridors on July 28, some “50 tons of food, basic necessities, medicine as well as 93 tons of water” were supplied to Aleppo, Rudskoy stated on Wednesday.
TEHRAN (FNA) The Syrian army aircraft dropped leaflets reading "Surrender Now" over the Aleppo city to give the Takfiri terrorists a last chance to lay down their arms and surrender to the authorities.
On Wednesday, the Syrian fighter jets launched several rounds of attacks on terrorist groups' military convoys in Northwestern and Southwestern Aleppo, preventing them from supplying arms and fresh forces for Jeish al-Fatah in the Southern districts of Aleppo city.
Long columns of terrorists' vehicles in different roads near Saraqib, al-Zerbeh, Taftnaz, Kahn Touman, Haraytan and Kafr Hamra were hit badly in the Syrian fighter jets' strikes. None of the convoy could deliver army, ammunition and fresh forces to battlefield in Southern districts of Aleppo.
In the meantime, Jeish al-Fatah positions in residential project of 10170, Southern side of al-Hakimeh school and al-Ameriyeh neighborhood were targeted in Syrian air attacks. Several armored vehicles were destroyed in Syrian air attacks in Khan Touman, Khan al-Asal and al-Artab.
Syrian artillery and missile units opened fire at terrorists' centers in Western side of Khan Touman, while resistance forces' drones targeted Jeish al-Fatah's positions in the village of Khalseh.
Reports said on Tuesday that a large number of army soldiers and their popular allies were waiting to receive the operation code from the Aleppo Operations Command Center to storm Jeish al-Fatah's defense lines in the Southern and Southwestern parts of the city.
Many Russians hold Western values in contempt, and resist being subjugated to them. Deserved or not, the West is often perceived as a faithless and individualistic society with an exceptional love of money.
Flashback: Putin and the New Russia
Russia has succeeded in forging an alternative approach to foreign policy that is based on strategic independence, freedom of action and respect for national sovereignty, political analyst Mikå Mered told Atlantico. "Russia has managed to once again find its voice and become the embodiment of the third path," he said...
The analyst mentioned Russia's counterterrorism campaign in Syria and its overall strategy in the Middle East as some of the country's latest achievements.
There are other positive developments: Russia put its own spaceport in the Far East online, has strengthened economic ties with China, India and Japan, reformed of the army and improved its presence in global media space...
For his part, French writer Alexandre Del Valle told Atlantico that "Russia has not reached its [foreign policy] goals, but it is moving in the right direction."
Russia's foreign policy is aimed at promoting a more balanced world-order that does not gravitate towards a single center of power. As a result, Moscow "does not want to be the global leader and Washington's adversary," he said...
The Syrian conflict and the Iran nuclear deal show that "Russia under Vladimir Putin is trying to discuss global issues with Washington as equals," the writer observed.
Del Valle also said that Moscow has "grown tired" of Washington using human rights to justify military interventions.
"Putin is still open for cooperation with Europe and the West but only under the condition that they cast away arrogance and stop meddling in internal affairs of countries that Russia views as strategically important," he said.
Del Valle further noted that China, Turkey, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Algiers share Russia's view on Washington's foreign policy.
Muammar Gaddafi 27 december 2008:
syria 14-12-2012: western backed islamist rebels
ALEPPO – Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) responded in an official statement to the Syrian rebels’ Aleppo Operations Chamber that said they will attack the Kurds after breaking a regime siege on Aleppo city.
“It has been two years and more since these [Syrian opposition] groups started launching heinous assaults using chemical weapons and other banned materials against unarmed civilians in the besieged Kurdish neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo,” the YPG leadership said.
“The revolution they [rebel groups] are talking about is no more than a mask to justify the massacres and human rights violations being committed by those groups which are linked to outside agendas,” the statement added.
Speaking to ARA News, YPG official Meer Abass said that the recent improvement in the Turkish-Russian relations “will lead to a weakening of the Syrian opposition groups.”
“Turkish government will soon cut off supplies to the Syrian opposition groups after boosting ties with Russia, in preparation for a political solution.”
“Our last offenses on rebel group positions in the surrounding districts of Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood, indicates our abidance to protect our people, since those positions have been used to bomb civilians in the Kurdish inhabited neighborhood which caused loss of hundreds of woman and children and more thousands injured,” the YPG said.
Major Yasser Abd al-Rahim, Commander of the rebel group of Fatah Halab Operations Chamber in Aleppo, said on Tuesday that they will attack the Kurds in Aleppo...
Abd al-Rahim said that the Syrian opposition militias will take ‘revenge’ for the Syrian rebels that were killed by YPG, after they attacked YPG positions, vowing that Kurds “will not find a place to bury their dead in Aleppo”.
Flashback 2012: "Why are they establishing Al-Qaeda on coasts near Europe?"
TEHRAN -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, says that the United States’ efforts to establish Al-Qaeda branches in Syria and Lebanon will create a greater threat for Europe than nuclear weapons.
read more: saddams death, page 57
Thousands of people arrived at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Saturday night to mark Tisha B'Av (The destruction of the temple).
Starting Saturday night and continuing throughout the day Sunday, worshipers at the Kotel have been reading the Book of Lamentations, as well as lamentations written following the destruction of the Temple. Because studying Torah is considered a joyous activity, it is not permitted on Tisha B'Av.
According to custom, worshipers sit on low chairs or on the floor—with some even sleeping on the floor—to signify the suffering of the mourning. At the synagogue, the Book of Lamentations is read in low lighting, and at times even by candle light.
The mourning is not limited to the Western Wall. Millions of Jews in Israel and all over the world mark the day by fasting.
On Saturday night, special gatherings were held across the country, bringing together people from different sectors in an effort to end gratuitous hatred, which, according to Jewish belief is what led to the destruction of the Second Temple.
Josephus Flavius: Tyrants among the Jews brought the Roman power upon us
The Temple: theocratic symbol of anti-modernism
The Jewish theocracy was founded by the Babylonian Scribe EZRA, a leader of the Israelites returning to the Land of Israel (400 bC). It was the end of the era of the independent (anti-authoritarian) prophets. A theocracy is favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom.
Theocracy - definition:
As a theocracy Israel is the enemy of the prophet Jesus
1. The NEW TESTAMENT Jesus
"If Jesus lived today, he would be a secular humanist and would reject Christianity, just as he "rejected" Judaism and inspired Christianity. Christianity was once the vehicle for the boldest and most honest thinking about reality, the brotherhood of man, and the human condition.." (A humanist Jesus)
Then Jesus said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. (Mark 12:17)
2. The GNOSTIC Jesus was the enemy of Ignorance
The heart of the human problem for the Gnostic is ignorance, sometimes called “sleep,” “intoxication,” or “blindness.” Jesus redeems man from such ignorance.
Muslims & Christians will form a progressive movement
Iranian Shiites believe that at the end of times, the 12th Imam, Mahdi, a 9th century prophet, will reappear with Jesus Christ at his side..
In the picture the Chief of Staff ofIslam Republic of Iran, Major General Sayyid Hassan Firouzabadi is seen while kissing the book called "The Prophet Jesus and Hazrat Mahdi Will Come This Century" as an expression of his appreciation.
The Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Major General Sayyid Hassan Firouzabadi, who is known with his closeness to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, noted "Today’s world is enthusiastic for a justice-dispersing Saviour [Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh)] and the emergence of the rule of justice..." (Read more: Saddam's Death, page 67)
2:87 We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and we strengthened him with the holy spirit
2:136 We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them...
4 :171 O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers.
43:63 When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me.”
9:30 The Jews call Uzair (Ezra) a son of Allah (i.e. more important than the prophets), and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah... Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the truth.
5:72 They do blaspheme who say: “Allah is Christ the son of Mary.” But said Christ: “O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.”
57:27 We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy.
5:75 Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food.
5:110 O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity... And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee, when thou didst show them the clear Signs...
4:157 They killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.
5:116 Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right to say. Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart...
9:31 They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah...; yet they were commanded to worship but One God: there is no god but He...
''THE BOOK', as mentioned in the Quran, is NOT the Quran, but the religious scriptures of the Jews, the Roman Christians and the Gnostic Christians. The Quran was created after Muhammad's death (8 june 632 CE).
Calling the Quran 'the Book of God' is a form of blasphemy. The Quran is a product of Mohammed (a human being) and the angel Gabriel, who visited him during dreams and visions. Angels - like humans - are created by a creator. You cannot call them 'Gods'...
The Quran is utterly clear in that matter:
Don't call anyone or anything 'God'. Don't be a divider, but defend (like the prophets did) divine values, like freedom, equality and brotherhood...
The Quran is not written down by Muhammad. It is the revealed spoken word, that was preserved by memorization. At different times in Muhammed's life the recitations would come to him; he would then repeat what he had heard and these would be memorized by certain people trained in remembering verses; some of these verses were written down on whatever was at hand. All these writings were collected in the caliphate of 'Uthman and the canonical text was established around 650 A.D.
The oldest Qurans available today are the the Samarqand codex (currently located in Russia) and the other is an old Qur'an manuscript kept on public display in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul.
It's essential to know when to keep away from cases when aspiration for totality is destructive.
It happens to us today more and more, when we become so entrenched in radicalized positions that lead to internal clashes and fierce hostility. These create deep rifts in our society, and I fear that unless we hit the emergency break, we'll fall into the abyss similar to the one that brought us the destruction of the Second Temple. Then, too, it began with extremism and dogmatism...
Those not accustomed to reading the texts dealing with the deep circumstances of the destruction of the temple might be surprised to read the Talmudic holding that Jerusalem was destroyed because "they judged Torah law therein."
That isn't a mistake: essentially, the destruction came to us because of the faulty norm of compliance with the law word for word.
The entire idea of "ex gratia" was foreign to them; there were no shades of grey, just black and white. ('Ex Gratia': used to describe something that is done or given freely rather than because it is required by a law).
Instead of our Torah being a living Torah and being a source for guidance, the prevailing spirit was to be "by the book," without taking into consideration the special circumstances and the reality that requires broad discretion.
We beard an unbearably high price for that extremism and literalism. The Midrash illustrates this and describes how the position of Rabbi Zecharia ben Avkulos took over, which insisted on adherence to the religious law word for word — despite the clear and present danger posed to the Jews under foreign Roman rule.
This stubbornness, which was expressed in the refusal to make a sacrifice from the emperor for the sake of "peace of the kingdom" — because thus it was written in Jewish law — was a symptom...
Paul (New Testament) versus Legalism
John Piper (Bethlehem Baptist Church Minnesota)
When PAUL says in a NEW TESTAMENT verse that "all who rely on works of the law are under a curse," it reminds us of 1:7, 8, where he says, "There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ."
Evidently, Paul believed that there was a teaching among the churches of Galatia which was so destructive to people and so dishonoring to God that it merited a divine curse.
It was a teaching propagated not by secular humanists from Athens but by God-fearing Jewish "Christian" church members from Jerusalem.
The reason the book of Galatians has such a radical, life-changing message is that it pronounces a curse from God not on atheistic or agnostic outsiders but on professing Christians who try to serve God in a way that diminishes his grace and cultivates their own pride.
When verse 10 says that "those who rely on works of the law are under a curse," it means that they are without the Holy Spirit (Reason, Gnosis, Wisdom).
There is no Greek word for legalism. When Paul wanted to refer to the legalistic misuse of Moses' teaching, he either had to use the term "law" and trust that the context would clarify the meaning, "misuse of law"; or he had to use a phrase like "works of law" which for him always had a negative, legalistic meaning.
We know from the context of 2:18 that Paul distinguished what Moses really taught from what the Judaizers did with his teachings.
The Collective Is God
The Borg are a fictional alien race that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the Collective, by injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes. The Borg are driven by a need for 'perfection', and assimilate other races to further that goal. The Borg have become a symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against which "resistance is futile". (Wikipedia)
According to the new policy, the defense establishment divided the [occupied] West Bank map into two parts – the main part marked on the map in green represented the areas from which no terrorists had come, while a smaller part, mainly in the southern West Bank from Hebron southward featured villages colored in red and yellow. The areas that will get benefits immediately are Beit Sahur, in which a hospital will be built; western Nablus, in which an industrial zone will be built; and Kafr Bidia, in which a soccer field will be built. Liberman added, however, that he does not intend to allow the Palestinians to build another city in the [occupied] West Bank.
The means of punishment for areas from where terrorism originates will include increased IDF activity in Area A of the [occupied] West Bank; home demolitions; increased arrests; raids on homes from which terrorists came; confiscation of terrorism funds and property; cancellation of VIP permits for senior Palestinian Authority officials taking part in incitement; increased vehicle searches at the Kalandiya refugee camp; and stricter enforcement against illegal building.
Liberman quoted Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s saying that you must be “a generous and cruel genius.”
One of the keys of the plan deals with the defense establishment’s desire to hold talks with Palestinian figures without mediation and without the approval of the Palestinian Authority.
“Our goal is to create a dialogue with anyone who wants to talk to us,” the minister stated. He added, however, that “we have no intention to crown kings in the PA or to interfere in internal affairs.”
Vladimir Jabotinsky: "I very emphatically urge our friends to have a more serious view of such principles as freedom of conscience and freedom of thought. I, for one, am not prepared to support the mania of banning spiritual quest, so long as it does not imply blasphemy against the basic principles of liberty, equality, and nationality."
Beijing and Damascus have agreed that the Chinese military will provide humanitarian aid to Syria, a high-ranking People's Liberation Army officer said, adding that the training of Syrian personnel by Chinese instructors has also been discussed.
Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China's Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij, Chinese Xinhua news agency reported.
During the negotiation, Guan noted China’s consistent diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, adding that Beijing is now seeking closer military ties with Damascus.
"The Chinese and Syrian militaries traditionally have a friendly relationship, and the Chinese military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with the Syrian military," he said.
Guan and al-Freij discussed the enhancement of training and "reached a consensus" on the Chinese military providing humanitarian aid to Syria, Xinhua reported, without providing further details.
Guan also met Lieutenant General Sergei Chvarkov, chief of the Russian centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria.
Despite being a permanent UN Security Council member and relying on the Middle East for oil, China was previously reluctant to become involved in the Syrian conflict. Beijing preferred to concentrate on domestic affairs and the territorial dispute with its neighbors in the South China Sea.
"Ignorance will come to an end when everything is presented as it actually is"
Muammar Gaddafi, Green Book - Education
We know that each illegal war of conquest is prefaced by a public-relations-campaign that demonizes the target country’s leader and its government as it lies about on-the-ground realities.
Green became the national color of Libya under Gaddafi. It symbolized the predominant religion of Islam as well as Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” as expounded in his Green Book, his book of political writings, published in 1975.
"Nationalism is the basis for the survival of nations. Nations whose nationalism is destroyed are subject to ruin. Minorities, which are one of the main political problems in the world, are the outcome. They are nations whose nationalism has been destroyed and which are thus torn apart."
“When you go to Syria, which I did last month, the popularity of the government and the Syrian Arab Army is rampant. It's not out of some dream fantasy. It comes obviously from the government and the army being the only thing between living a secular life on the one hand and the hatred and violence of ISIS and the various other terrorist groups underwritten by the terrorist Saudis and US and their allies on the other.
The refugees who don't leave Syria do not flee to the terrorist side, they flee to the government side, in huge numbers. So would all of us in similar circumstances. Syrians do not want their country turned into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, or any of the other countries the US has liberated.”
The reality is an inversion of the propaganda lies fed to Western audiences. President Assad must stay, for the sake of civilization, and for the sake of destroying Western-backed terrorism. Each time 'the Empire' succeeds in destroying another country, the problem of terrorism worsens – as might be expected...
The propaganda lies, the false flags, the terrorist-embedded NGOs and the use of terrorist proxies to criminally destroy one country after another, is not only empowering terrorism world-wide, but it is also leading us to engineered conflict with nuclear-armed countries, in particular, Russia.
Whereas the propaganda lies further the causes of barbarity and ignorance, we need a redirection towards the polar opposite: towards trajectories that support civilization, progress, and the rule of law.
We need to shift from Death Industries of the Military Industrial Complex, to Life Industries that serve, rather than destroy, humanity.
We also need a strong anti-war movement based on a broad-based support of the truth, and a broad-based rejection of the “governing” lies.
The U.N. used World Humanitarian Day on Friday to plead for help for Libya, saying millions of Libyans and migrants were engulfed in a worsening crisis.
"More than 2.4 million people in Libya are in need of humanitarian assistance," Martin Kobler, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative for Libya, said in a statement. "They lack medicines, vaccinations and suffer from poor hospitalization services. Almost 300,000 children are out of schools and almost 350,000 Libyans are displaced within the country."
Kobler also noted the predicament of more than 270,000 migrants who fled their home countries and are stranded in Libya.
"The humanitarian needs created by the crisis in Libya are enormous and this should serve as an incentive for us to do our utmost to give hope to the people, particularly those in urgent need of humanitarian assistance," he added.
The ouster of Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 plunged Libya into chaos, with rival militias jockeying violently for power.
The latest fighting is centered on the coastal city of Sirte, where pro-government forces are pressing an assault against the jihadist Islamic State group.
WASHINGTON DC- Following a controversial statement by Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi earlier this week that Kurdish Peshmerga forces must not advance towards Mosul when the battle for that city is launched, Mark Toner, deputy US State Dept. spokesperson said that the Peshmerga must be under the command of the Iraqi government.
“I think it’s absolutely important, and we’ve emphasized this all along, that the Peshmerga and all the various fighting groups in Iraq need to be under the command and control of the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi military.” Toner told Rudaw at a press briefing on Thursday.
“I think that there just needs to be closer coordination between – and we’ve encouraged that and, indeed, it has taken place. Thus far, there have been these meetings as they look towards Mosul, and frankly, the next steps in liberating Iraq from ISIL.” Toner added.
The deputy state dept. spokesperson went on to acknowledge the vital role the Peshmerga forces have played in the wear against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the last two years.
He said: “There needs to be that coordination mechanism. But we certainly recognize, and we’ve said so many times, the vital role that these groups, including the Peshmerga, play and have played thus far and showed tremendous courage in liberating parts of Iraq that have been under the control of ISIL.” Toner explained that US efforts continue to bring the Kurds and Iraqis together into a united front for the battle of Mosul.
“We engage regularly with Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad to advocate and encourage a unified front in the face of the continuing threat of Daesh or ISIL..."
Damascus, SANA – The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the Asayish, the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party, has recently escalated its provocative actions in Hasaka city, attacking state establishments, stealing oil and cotton, disrupting examinations, carrying out abductions, and causing a state of chaos and instability.
In a statement on Friday, the General Command said that these actions took a more dangerous turn as the Asayish encircled Hasaka city, shelled it with artillery and tanks, and targeted Syrian Arab Army positions in it, claiming the lives of a number of military personnel and civilians.
The General Command said that the Asayish did not respond to all the attempts that were made to contain the situation and restore security and stability to the city; instead they persisted in carrying out their crimes in a bid to seize control of the city, which required the a suitable response by Syrian Arab Army as it targeted the sources of artillery fire and the gatherings of armed elements responsible for these criminal actions.
The statement clarified that the recurring attacks on citizens and the Syrian Arab Army are carried out exclusively by the Asayish and are not related to any specific Syrian component, affirming at the same time that it will respond to any such attack by any side and exert efforts to prevent the situation from escalating in order to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and the safety of Syrian citizens.
AKRE – The United States government continues to see the People’s Protection Forces (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as separate entities, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said in response to comments of Masoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The president of the Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani said in an interview on Tuesday that there is no difference between the YPG, and the PKK.
“Any support to the PYD [political leadership of YPG] means support for the PKK,” he told Al Monitor’s Amberin Zaman. “They are exactly one and the same thing.” “They [Americans] know very well, but they don’t want to say they know very well. … You know the top priority for us and the Americans is the fight against ISIS, so they might turn a blind eye,” he said.
In a reaction, Mr. Toner said that the US will stay committed to their policy of supporting the YPG, while condemning the PKK.
“We view the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization. We condemn the violence that it carries out against Turkish civilians and citizens,” Toner said.
“And separately, we have been working with the PYD – or YPG, rather, in parts of Syria as part of a number of groups we’re working with who are actively fighting and dislodging Daesh or ISIL from territory it controls,” he added.
“That doesn’t mean we haven’t had disagreements with them when they try to hold territory or not – or declare semi-autonomous self-rule zones. We disagree with them on that and we have frank discussions with them about that,” he added.
“But they are part of a number of groups that have been very effective in taking the fight against – or taking the fight, rather, to Daesh. I respect his [Barzani’s] opinion, just as we respect and listen to the Turkish authorities when they express their concerns to us, but we still view those [YPG and PKK] as two separate entities,” he stated.
The Revolution and Women in Iraq
Tunisia celebrated National Women’s Day by marking the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Code of Personal Status, a series of laws that greatly improved the standing of women in post-independence Tunisia. |
Tunisian civil society organisations are lobbying for a new law to defend women against violence. Samira Merai Friaa, Tunisian minister of Women, Family and Children Affairs, has said a comprehensive law fighting violence against women would be submitted to parliament.
“This law will be of a great importance as it will change mentality and behaviours,” Friaa said. “We want to eradicate the culture of violence. We must change this and that is why the law encompasses preventive, protective and penalising aspects.”
The draft law comes after an alarming study released in March by the Tunisian Centre for Research, Studies, Documentation and Information on Women (Credif). The study said 53.5% of Tunisian women were subject to a form of violence in the public space from 2011-15 and 47.6% were subject to domestic violence.
The measure is based on Article 46 of the Tunisian constitution, which calls for guaranteeing gender equality and protection of women’s rights.
Do not hate the individuals who do evil, hate only the evil deed itself
TEHRAN (FNA) - Governor of the Kurdish-populated Province of Hasaka Mohammad Za'al al-Ala underlined that his government surely welcomes any initiative by the Kurdish groups to take part in the administration of Syria, stressing that Hasaka is a part of Syria and population are entitled to the right to have a share in ruling the country.
"The Syrian government has always supported Kurds and it will remain to do so, and we promise to settle all differences," al-Ala told FNA on Sunday.
He, meantime, pointed to the recent clashes between the Kurdish group, Asayesh, and the National Defense Forces (NDF) who are fighting alongside the Syrian army, and said, "Resorting to force will not help resolve the differences."
Al-Ala said that the Asayesh forces blocked Hasaka-Qamishli road last week and prevented the military, police and security forces from joining other forces due to certain differences with the NDF.
"Following these incidents the two sides' commanders agreed to a ceasefire after mediations and holding a 5-hour meeting in Hasaka governor's office," he added.
The Hasaka governor said that Asayesh had asked for dissolving the NDF and non-interference of the government in areas under their control, but the governor's office seriously opposed their demands and Asayesh threatened to violate the ceasefire by insisting on their demands...
He underlined that if Kurds have conditions for participating in administering the country, the government will not oppose them, but they should be patient and try to resolve their differences through dialogue and not the language of force.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Ankara will wipe out the Gulen movement, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Islamic State (ISIS), cleansing them from Turkey and beyond.
“Traitors should know this: FETO (the Gulen movement), PKK, PYD (Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party), YPG (Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units), Daesh (ISIS) -- we will cleanse them all from our country and wipe out all of them,” he declared Sunday, at a memorial service for those who died in a failed July 15 coup attempt.
“Members of FETO had tanks and helicopters on the night of the coup attempt. They were bombing and shooting at our people with sharpshooters from the high hills,” he said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news.
Cavusoglu alleged that the PKK is the Gulen movement’s twin brother... and works together with them, and the PKK’s extension in Syria, the YPG, PYD, Daesh that target Turkey by misusing our religion, and ISIS traitors should not forget this:
"You may have subcontracted to some people. Your masters wanted to occupy this country, these territories but they could not. Now they use you as a tool and subcontractor. We will wipe out you too.”
“You cannot divide this country. You attack dastardly, kill innocent, civilian people dastardly,” Cavusoglu said, before going on to condemn the PKK as “separatists and traitors.”
“We will fight against them both in Turkish territories, and in Iraq and Syria where they live, and anywhere, even in Iran,” Cavusoglu vowed.
We will not support separatism
Turkey v PKK - in quotes (BBC, 25-4-2016):
Ilnur Cevik, chief adviser to Turkey's President Erdogan: "What they [the PKK] are doing at the moment is trying to create a separate state in Turkey. This is outright secession. "We are going to struggle right to the bitter end to stop this. And the Turkish people are now determined - public opinion polls say. They say, 'don't stop'."
PKK leader Cemil Bayik: "He [President Erdogan] wants the Kurds to surrender. If they don't surrender, he wants to kill all Kurds. He says this openly - he doesn't hide it.
"The Kurds will defend themselves to the end, so long as this is the Turkish approach - of course the PKK will escalate the war. Not only in Kurdistan, but in the rest of Turkey as well."
The following countries have listed or otherwise labelled the PKK in an official capacity as a terrorist organization:
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Syria, USA.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iran has left no breathing space for the country’s several million Kurds through repressions, disregarding all cultural and political rights and seeing everything through a security lens, said Mustafa Hejri, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) in Erbil on Monday; therefore it is time to confront Tehran which is as dangerous as the Islamic State (ISIS)...
Hejri said that dealing with Iran for almost four decades including a unilateral ceasefire has shown them and the world that Tehran does not believe in giving the Kurds or the country’s other minorities any of their rights...
Hejri said that pressure has worked well on Tehran in the past to make it accept the terms of the others, citing the examples of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s and recent sanctions imposed on Iran by the West that eventually brought Tehran to the negotiating table and a deal.
“So this tells us that if there is some force on the Islamic Republic it is possible that it will accept the demands of the Kurdish people, to a degree,” Hejri argued. “And for that force to work, before anything else, the Kurdish struggle inside Iran has to become a real and effective thing.”
He went on to describe the Iranian government as a Shiite Daesh, the local term for the Islamic State (ISIS) which he said was as dangerous as the extremist Sunni group.
Despite being the oldest Kurdish party in Iran and vowing resumption of armed struggle against Tehran, Hejri admitted at the panel that his party wouldn’t be able to go at it alone and needs the involvement of all other Kurdish groups. “Our purpose behind resuming the armed struggle is for our fighters to be inside the cities, boost people’s morale, learn the terrain and encourage them to get involved in this struggle,” Hejri said.
Political analyst Siddik Hassan Sukru, who lives in Erbil, Iraq, told Al-Monitor that the clashes are conjunctural and signal the beginning of a new era.
He said, “In Iran you don’t see a Kurdish strategy that uses weapons to ensure rights. They don’t seem to have a loud voice within ideology and human rights. Their conservative policies continue as before. I don’t think they can sustain a war. They have good relations with Turkey and Saudi Arabia and also the KDP of Northern Iraq.
There is a historical conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iran wants to be the leader, just like the Saudis. Israel operates in secret in the area. They wanted to redesign the Middle East through [IS] but that didn’t work. [IS] has lost. It hasn’t become a power in the Middle East and the world, but remained a terror outfit. Those who supported them now want to get rid of them.
Now they want to consolidate the Kurdish conservatives in Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq under the guise of Kurdishness, but it is too late."
He added, “It will not work. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and some European countries supported such a redesign with Turkey as a model. But the project collapsed when Islamist terrorists emerged.
Now they only rely on the possibility of an independent Kurdish state. Erdogan, Israel and the Saudis made them promises. They wanted to set up a Salafi Wahhabi state against Iran in Syria and Iraq. Turkey wanted them to fight against the [Kurdistan Workers Party] while Israel and Saudi Arabia wanted the Kurds to fight Iran. It didn’t work.”
As the clashes continue, the KDPI said in an online statement that it will step up its attacks.
Sukru does not believe this is feasible. He said, “I don’t think they can conduct major operations, given the military and political realities.... They are not all that strong among the youth. It is a migrating movement. They fight for two months and then go home. They can launch a guerrilla war. Iran so far has not responded against Iraqi Kurdistan, although the Iranian Kurds have been using that territory [to launch attacks]. Iran has been careful not to damage its ties with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq."
Last week a Chinese admiral visited Damascus and promised support. The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs also passed by. The Turkish deputy intelligence chief was there for secret talks. Earlier the Turkish president visited Russia and the Turkish foreign minister visited Tehran. Those are a lot of talks between big and important countries and players in the conflict over Syria. None of them, not even Barzani, is in the U.S. camp.
Is the United States a force for democracy?
The U.S. meddling in Syria is creating more and more chaos. Is that the intent?
Whatever - one can hope that those large, grown up, older nations - Russia, India, China and Iran - now align their plans and steer this conflict towards some saner, bearable solution...
Hasaka, SANA – An agreement to halt fighting was agreed in the northeastern Hasaka province that came into effect at 14:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the Syrian TV reported.
All roads in the city will also be opened according to the agreement. It was also agreed on work to resolve the Kurdish issue and start discussions to address the situation of the discharged state employees.
During the past days, the Asayish, the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party, has escalated its provocative actions in Hasaka city, attacking state establishments, stealing oil and cotton, disrupting examinations, carrying out abductions, and causing a state of chaos and instability.
The provocations amounted to encircling Hasaka city, shelling it with artillery and tanks and targeting the Syrian Arab Army positions in it, claiming the lives of a number of military personnel and civilians...
Months of speculation about Turkey inching toward a radical change in its Syrian policy have finally ended.
On Aug. 20, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim officially announced Ankara’s new policy, which aims to settle the crisis with the involvement of all the key players, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
This about-face had been in the making since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted a year ago that a transition period in Syria could include Assad. Prior to that, Ankara had taken the hard-line position that there was no room for Assad in any shape or form in Syria's future.
Turkey’s resetting of its Syria policy comes on the heels of its reconciliation with Russia earlier this month. The radical change in Ankara’s approach also follows a decision to improve ties with Iran and to initiate a new dialogue on Syria with Moscow and Tehran.
The Yildirim government is also acknowledging that Ankara’s former policy was out of touch with the reality in Syria.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus was quoted extensively after telling a group of reporters and academics that all of Turkey’s present troubles were rooted in Syria. “Much of what has befallen us is the result of the situation in Syria and our Syria policy,” Kurtulmus said during the Aug. 17 meeting. “This applies to others too, but we were also unable to put forward a valid policy [on Syria].”
The Islamist supporters of Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are unlikely to be happy with this turn of events given the extent to which Assad was systematically demonized in Turkey.
They have already had to swallow a bitter pill with Turkey’s decision to reconcile with Israel. There is also, however, a new sense of realism among these supporters.
Akif Emre, a well-known Islamist columnist from the pro-government daily Yeni Safak, for example, argued that the bloody situation in Syria, and the major headache this poses for Turkey, has to be addressed above all other considerations.
Yildirim told a group of foreign reporters on Aug. 20 [..] that Turkey would be much more active over this period, to ensure that the threat from Syria does not increase, and went on to list the key elements of Ankara’s new policy as follows:
• preventing Syria from being divided along ethnic lines;Yildirim’s most striking remarks, however, concerned Assad... “Whether we like it or not, Assad is one of the actors.”
• preventing Syria from being governed by a single ethnic entity;
• securing fair representation for Arabs, Kurds, Alevis and other minorities in any settlement; and
• working with Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia for a settlement to the crisis.
Saudi based Salafist preacher Adnan Al-Aroor became widely known and promoted after the start of the Syrian Public Revolution. Aroor fled Syria following the 1982 rebellion in Hama. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of a radical Sunni movement founded in Egypt in 1928, engaged in more than a decade of violent opposition to the regime of Hafez Assad. In 1982, the Brotherhood took control of the city of Hama.
Fehmi Koru, a seasoned conservative commentator, believes that the cadres that crafted Ankara’s failed Syria policy seriously underestimated Assad. “
They got bogged down in one aspect of the Baathist regime of 40 years standing [namely, the fact that it was a Nusairi/Alawite structure that excluded Sunnis] and overlooked the fact that [Assad] had over the years gained a status over and above ethnic and sectarian divisions,” Koru wrote in his widely read blog.
“Influenced by this outlook, our foreign policy was based on the assumption that the Assad regime would not survive long and a regime close to Turkey could come to power in Damascus.”
Soli Ozel, from the Kadir Has University in Istanbul and a foreign affairs commentator for daily Haberturk, believes that the change in policy should have been made three years ago, but was delayed due to the approach of Ahmet Davutoglu, first as foreign minister and later as prime minister.
DAMASCUS - The foreign ministry in Damascus said it "condemns the crossing of the Turkey-Syria border by Turkish tanks and armoured vehicles towards the Jarabulus area with air cover from the US-led coalition and considers it a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty".
The operation -- named "Euphrates Shield" -- began around 4:00 am (0100 GMT) with Turkish artillery pounding dozens of targets of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group around Jarabulus, the Turkish prime minister's office said.
Turkish tanks and special forces accompanied by pro-Ankara Syrian rebels then rolled across the border in an unprecedented operation to drive IS out of Jarabulus, from which it has fired rockets into Turkey.
In Ankara on Wednesday, visiting US Vice President Joe Biden said Washington had made it clear that Kurdish-led forces in Syria must not deploy west of the Euphrates River.
"We have made it absolutely clear... that they must go back across the river," Biden said at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. "They cannot, will not and under no circumstances (will) get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period."
The operation led by Turkey to liberate Syria's Jarablus from Daesh terrorists will continue until elements of the PKK's Syrian affiliate YPG retreats to the east bank of Euphrates, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a live interview on Habertürk TV shortly after meeting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Yıldırım said that it is necessary to cleanse Jarablus of terrorist PKK-affiliated groups including the PYD and YPG. "This was a pledge, a guarantee of the U.S." Yıldırım said.
He continued by saying that the timing of the operation has nothing to do with KRG President Masoud Barzani or U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Turkey.
Yıldırım also said that it is necessary to protect Syria's territorial integrity and that it would be a disaster if all ethnic groups wanted to establish their own state.
"The situation would be worse than today if every single ethnic group established a state" he said, adding that Turkey is already paying the price of the conflict in Syria by hosting over three million Syrians and that it is necessary for these people to return to a normal life as soon as possible.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that even though Turkey does not see Assad as part of a permanent solution in Syria, it could still accept Assad as one of the sides. He added that Turkey urges all sides including Iran and Russia to come together and find a solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the Turkish regime to coordinate the fight against terrorism with the Syrian government on the border between the two countries.
A diplomatic source in the ministry said that the Russian officials see the importance of the fight against terrorism in the border areas between Syria and Turkey more than ever, but at the same time they emphasize the importance of coordinating Ankara’s activities with Damascus because that is the most important factor in the effectiveness of these actions.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish tanks and armored vehicles crossed the Syrian-Turkish borders towards Jarablos city under cover of the US-led alliance’s air forces in order to wrest the city from the control of ISIS terrorist organization and deliver it to other terrorist groups that operate under the command of Washington and Ankara. (Breaking News Network - Agencies, 2016-08-24)
TEHRAN - Iranian theatre-goers have been hurrying to see a play which focuses on one of the major events of the country’s recent history, the coup d’etat orchestrated by Britain against the elected government of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953.
At Tehran’s Vahdat theatre, a sell-out crowd watched the final performance of a five-week run on Friday, the 63rd anniversary of Mossadeq’s downfall, but the play has been so popular that a new set of shows is planned for the autumn, according to Asghar Khalili, the play’s writer and director.
Mossadeq became a national hero in 1951 when his government nationalised the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a move which cemented the country’s drive for economic as well as political independence. It inspired Egypt’s leader, Gamal Abdul Nasser, to take over the Suez Canal five years later, another move which Britain opposed with force in the dying years of its imperial power.
After the 1979 Islamic revolution and the fall of the pro-Western Shah, Iran’s religious leaders made 20 March, the oil nationalisation day, an annual public holiday.
Yet despite this commemoration, school textbooks only treat Mossadeq briefly. “We need more efforts to make him more popular and better-known..." Khalili told MEE.
In Iran, the coup has left a legacy of suspicion towards Britain, which is sometimes seen in a worse light than the so-called Great Satan, the United States.
But many British politicians are unaware of it.
Fifteen years ago when Jack Straw, as foreign secretary, made strenuous efforts to open relations with the Iranian government after the notoriously anti-Iranian George W Bush came to power in the US, Prime Minister Tony Blair told an interviewer he did not know anything about the 1953 coup.
Britain under Winston Churchill reacted to the end of its 60-year exploitation of Iran’s oil first by withdrawing its engineers from the oil fields and dispatching the Royal Navy to intercept tankers carrying Iranian oil bought by foreign companies. It then tried to get the Shah to dismiss Mossadeq who was taking steps to reduce the Shah’s power over the Iranian armed forces. But with a majority of politicians in parliament and much of the public behind him, Mossadeq was too popular for the Shah to act against him.
Instead, the Shah left for Italy. Churchill and US president, Dwight Eisenhower, decided that the best solution was to topple the elected government and restore the Shah’s autocratic rule.
The coup was organised by Britain’s MI6 and America's CIA.. They paid agents to mobilise crowds for and against Mossadeq, and promote clashes in the streets of Tehran. Dissident generals and other officers, dismissed by Mossadeq, then stepped in, ostensibly to restore law and order, but in fact to arrest Mossadeq, close parliament and bring the Shah back to power. Mossadeq was tried for treason and put under house arrest until his death in 1967.
Some analysts have suggested that the relative lack of attention in today’s Iran to Mossadeq’s status as a one-time national hero is that he was secular. Khalili denies that, arguing that Mossadeq called himself a Shia Muslim and was buried according to Shia rites.
But he was a liberal democrat. “Under him there was greater freedom of speech for two and a half years than at any other time during the Shah’s rule,” the director said.
Khalili's play has received generous media attention and positive reviews. Hadi Khamenei, a well known liberal cleric and former MP who is the younger brother of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, came to the play on the second night and publicly urged people to watch it.
'God' is a Right-Winger
Days after over 100,000 Yemenis rallied in Sanaa against Saudi Arabia for the latter’s continued shelling campaign, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Riyadh to discuss the ongoing bloodbath.
The founder of the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, spoke with Radio Sputnik about Western involvement and possible outcomes of the war.
Iran, accused by the Saudis of supporting the Houthi political opposition faction throughout the war, hasn’t got any influence on conflict in Yemen, he said. “There’s a total blockade of sea, and [Iranian] weapons cannot get through, personnel cannot get through. Iran has no air forces involved,” Shadjareh noted, offering that the real driving force of the hostilities in Yemen is Saudi Arabia that has been shelling the country since March 2015.
To justify its attempted invasion, the Saudis used the pretext of spreading democracy, which is patently absurd, given that Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, and it practices executions and widely oppresses women, Shadjareh said.
Riyadh “wants to be a regional power” and has instigated a number of conflicts, including those in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen, he said. “They want to strengthen themselves so as to ensure the continuation of the royal family’s dictatorship.”
The Saudi’s real goal in sending troops Yemen, he said, is to place a puppet president in power who will obey Riyadh.
“Here we’ve got one of the richest countries in the region, or in the world, attacking one of the poorest countries, destroying infrastructure and killing children,” he said..
Concurrently, “the international community, that is supposed to be the peak of democracy and justice, is involved in it,” Shadjareh stated. “Saudi Arabia couldn’t possibly get engaged in this sort of war without such support,” he said.
Among the reasons prompting Americans and Britons to turn a blind eye to the “carnage and international law violations” currently being committed in Yemen by the Saudis is the aggressive sale of weapons by the West... “There are no economic reasons, other than the sale of arms. There’s no oil, geopolitical interest for the US or the UK there. So it really goes back to old-fashioned corruption.”
In spite of the far-reaching support of the Western allies, the Saudis are stuck in a quagmire similar to that being experienced by the US in Afghanistan. The Houthi faction, disorganized at the beginning of the war, have become a “fighting machine, manufacturing weapons and being able to sustain themselves, despite all the blockades that had been imposed.”
The Saudis are “too arrogant and don’t want to accept a defeat”... Riyadh will drag on the war, refusing to negotiate or discuss peace, which is the only intelligent exit strategy left to the House of Saud.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei considers Victor Hugo supreme
As a young man, Ali Khamenei (Iran's spiritual leader) 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."
“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.” (Saddam's Death, Page 74)
When Pope Francis visited the US Congress in September 2015, he boldly posed a moral challenge to his American hosts, asking: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?”
“Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money,” he solemnly concluded. “Money that is drenched in blood.”
In this case, it’s innocent Yemeni blood.
During his almost eight years in office, President Obama has approved a jaw-dropping, record-breaking $110 billion in weapons sales to the repressive Saudi regime, all with Congressional backing...
The Pentagon says that providing the Saudis with F-15s bombers, Apache helicopters, armored vehicles, missiles, and bombs supports Saudi Arabian defense missions and helps promote stability in the region. But since March 2015, the Saudis have being using these weapons offensively to intervene in neighboring Yemen...
It’s high time for Congress to answer the Pope’s challenge to stop the arms trade and help prevent more Yemeni bloodshed.
Medea Benjamin is the founder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange and the author of nine books, including the recently released 'Kingdom of the unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection'.
Paul Wolfowitz, a Republican adviser to former U.S. President George W. Bush, plans to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election despite his "serious reservations", Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.
Wolfowitz, who served as deputy defense secretary under Bush and also as president of the World Bank, said he viewed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a security risk because of his admiration of Russian President Putin and his views on China, the magazine reported.
"It's important to make it clear how unacceptable he is," the magazine quoted Wolfowitz as saying in an interview.
"I wish there was a candidate whom I could support enthusiastically. I will have to vote for Hillary Clinton, although I have serious reservations about her," he said.
Wolfowitz rejected a common description of him as a key architect of the 2003 U.S. war against Iraq, saying that if he had truly been the architect many things would have gone differently, the magazine reported.
Wolfowitz said the goal had been to free the country, not occupy it, creating tensions with many Iraqis. He also defended the decision to invade Iraq, saying it was based on intelligence that later turned out to be faulty.
"Of course we would have proceeded differently if we had known that Saddam Hussein was not stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, but was only planning to do so," he said. "We would not have invaded."
In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine in May 2003, several months after the invasion, he suggested there were multiple reasons for it, but the Bush administration highlighted Iraq’s supposed WMD as the justification for the war as the most politically convenient.
“For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” he said at the time.