Saddam's Death, 76 (august-september 2016)
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 75: august 2016 and Page 77: september 2016
Israel & The Temple Revolution & The Kivunim Plan 1982
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

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

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So the policy should be to help peace in the region, to fight terrorism, to promote secularism, to support this area economically, to help upgrade the mind and society like you did in your country. That is the supposed mission of the United States, not to launch wars. Launching war doesn’t make you a great power." (Bashar Al-Assad, 26-1-2015)

President Bashar, 'Le Figaro' interview 3-9-2013:

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

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

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

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

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

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

About political holism

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

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

At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)

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

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

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

Former Bush adviser Wolfowitz to vote for Hillary Clinton
Ahram online|Reuters, Friday 26 Aug 2016

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.

FLASHBACK 2001-2003:
Rumsfeld's Crazy Foreign Policy Team

To understand American policy, it is worth probing the character of the policy makers who design Rumsfeld's foreign policy. The three architects of American foreign policy are Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. They will go down in Palestinian history as the true 'axis of evil'.
Wolfowitz and Perle are card carrying individuals with a resume that entitles them to the highest ranks of the fanatical expansionist wing of the Likud party.
Their current strategy is to divert attention from the Palestinian struggle for freedom by beating the war drums for an assault against Iraq. Their real agenda is to allow Sharon more time to 'win' against Palestinian resistance to Israeli repression.
Like Sharon, they believe that there is a level of repression that can be continually and permanently inflicted on the Palestinian people to force them to capitulate to every Likudnik real estate fantasy. (By Ahmed Amr for Palestine Chronicle, 17-8-2002)

Supporters of Israel, particularly Likud

The chief architects of the push to get Saddam Hussein have been Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, who, as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, is not technically a member of the Bush administration.
As prize students of arch-hawk Albert Wohlstetter in the 1960s, the two men have been comrades-in-arms in a series of crusades against détente, arms control, and any multilateral effort that might constrain Washington's freedom of action to do what it wants, where and when it pleases, dating back to the early 1970s.
Within the administration, they generally can count on some heavy-weight actors for support, beginning with Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, Pentagon policy chief Douglas Feith, and several members of the National Security Council staff, including its top aide for global issues and Iran-contra veteran, Elliott Abrams.
This circle of hawks is backed outside the administration by a network of veteran Washington hands whose political savvy, talent for polemics, media contacts, and lust for ideological combat have made them a formidable force on foreign policy since the Vietnam War.
With roots in the Scoop Jackson faction of the Democratic Party, these "neo-conservatives" are decidedly aggressive when it comes to supporting Israel, particularly Likud; mostly hostile toward the United Nations; often contemptuous of European "elites;" and absolutely convinced of the fundamental moral superiority and redemptive mission of the United States abroad. (Jim Lobe, 30-11-2001)

Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff).
The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says:
'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'
This 'American grand strategy' must be advanced for 'as far into the future as possible', the report says. It also calls for the US to 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission'. (By Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald 16-9-2002)

The Wolfowitz Cabal

Whatever comes next in the battle against Saddam Hussein, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has achieved a life-long aim. He has diverted the search for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem onto the back burner while turning up the heat on the problem of Saddam Hussein...
The “Wolfowitz Cabal” is now determined to push the US in the same direction as Israel’s most dangerous right-wing policy and take on as an enemy every Islamic nation Israel perceives as a threat.
In this Wolfowitz and his colleague, Richard Perle, seem to have succeeded beyond their wildest and most fevered dreams. (Richard H. Curtiss, Palestine Chronicle 28-2-2003)

Showing strenght by destroying Baathism,
the symbol of independence & anti-colonialism

For the neo-conservatives Iraq must not only be de-Ba'athized, but Washington must also be accorded the opportunity to show the world, (especially other Muslim states) just how powerful and determined the United States is to both wage war and enforce political reform.
The neoconservatives view "Saddamism without Saddam" as the worst possible outcome of the present crisis. In the past months, they have excoriated the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for encouraging coups d'etat or enlisting the participation of even former senior Ba'ath officials in any post-invasion administration. (Jim Lobe, Alternet 21-3-2003)

George W. Bush: Ignorance is my strength..

How did the neo-con defence intellectuals - a small group at odds with most of the US foreign policy elite, Republican as well as Democratic - manage to capture the Bush administration?
Few supported Bush during the presidential primaries... Then they had a stroke of luck - Cheney was put in charge of the presidential transition (the period between the election in November and the accession to office in January). Dick Cheney used this opportunity to stack the administration with his hardline allies.
The neo-cons took advantage of Bush's ignorance and inexperience. Unlike his father, a Second World War veteran who had been ambassador to China, director of the CIA and vice-president, George W was a thinly educated playboy who had failed repeatedly in business before becoming the governor of Texas, a largely ceremonial position (the state's lieutenant governor has more power).
George W, raised in west Texas, absorbed the Texan cultural combination of machismo, anti-intellectualism and overt religiosity.
Fervent Christian Zionism, along with an admiration for macho Israeli soldiers that sometimes coexists with hostility to liberal Jewish-American intellectuals, is a feature of the southern culture.
It is not clear that George W fully understands the grand strategy that Wolfowitz and other aides are unfolding. He seems genuinely to believe that there was an imminent threat to the US from Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction", something the leading neocons say in public but are far too intelligent to believe themselves.< (Michael Lind, 12-4-2003)

Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil

US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.
The latest comments were made by Mr Wolfowitz in an address to delegates at an Asian security summit in Singapore at the weekend, and reported today by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.
Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said:
"Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."
His latest comments follow his widely reported statement from an interview in Vanity Fair last month, in which he said that "for reasons that have a lot to do with the US government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on: weapons of mass destruction." (George Wright, The Guardian 4-6-2003)

"Ignorance will come to an end when everything is presented as it actually is"
Muammar Gaddafi, Green Book - Education

The second Palestinian intifada or uprising broke out at the end of September 2000. Frustrations that years of the negotiation had failed to deliver a Palestinian state were intensified by the collapse of the Camp David summit in July 2000. Ariel Sharon, then the leader of Israel's opposition, paid a visit to the site in East Jerusalem known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, and frustration boiled over into violence. (BBC News 2004)

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

Exclusivity & Polarisation

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

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

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

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

France Presents Ashrawi with ‘Knight of the Legion of Honor’ Award
Palestine Chronicle, Aug 20 2016

The French government awarded the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, the “Chevalier de la Legion D’honneur” (Knight of the Legion of Honor) award.
The Legion of Honor is the highest French order for military and civil merits, with ‘knight’ being the highest distinction. Though usually reserved for French citizens, the honor is also awarded to foreign nationals whom the French government deems to have served France or the ideals it upholds.
An official ceremony to award Ashrawi is set to take place next month in Ramallah City.

Ashrawi reportedly expressed gratitude and appreciation, saying that it was an honor for her and for Palestinians, as it reflects the faith of the French government and people in the justice of the Palestinian cause and Palestinians’ rights to live in peace.

UN, EU help Palestinians build ICC suit against Israel
By Tovah Lazarov, Jerusalem Post, 08/26/2016

The United Nations and the European Union are helping the Palestinian Authority build its global advocacy campaign against the Jewish state, including its filing of “war crimes” complaints about Israel before the International Criminal Court.
Over the past year the UN and the EU have planned this activity under Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which is designed to raise a $2.1 million empowerment plan for Palestinian women.
However, according to the details of the plan, which were unveiled Wednesday in Ramallah, more than half of that sum – $1.3m. – would be spent on international activities to fight Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank.

- The plan’s budget includes $100,000 to document crimes against women “by the Israeli occupation,” to be “submitted to the ICC.” Another $150,000 would be spent on “preparing files of complaint” and $129,000 for “developing a monitoring mechanism.”
- The plan also called for $202,500 to be set aside to build international coalitions against the “Israeli occupation” for “its noncompliance with international law.” This includes campaigns that target the ICC, the UN Committee on the Status of Women and other international women’s rights organizations.
- Some $54,000 would be spent on preparations for “UN resolutions to condemn the Israeli occupation and prosecute it for its violations at the expense of Palestinian women.”

At the Ramallah launch of the plan, the EU’s head of cooperation in its Jerusalem office, Alessandra Viezzer, spoke in support of the plan. “Please rest assured that on behalf of the EU, we stand here committed to support in our modest capacity your advocacy efforts and other efforts for the implementation of the plan,” Viezzer said.
“Certainly we can reflect together on the challenges caused by the occupation..." “It’s true that in order to achieve true peace and security, the occupation must end,” Viezzer added. There is also work to be done on advancing the role of women so they can be full participants in Palestinian society with the same rights as the men, Viezzer said.

PA Minister for Women’s Affairs Haifa El-Agha told the small gathering in the conference room of the Grand Park Hotel that she is proud to be a Palestinian woman. “We are in a new era. We will hold accountable anyone who violates women and girls and Palestinian women in particular,” El-Agha said.
El-Agha told the Post she was proud that, “We are the second state [in the region] after Iraq to adopt a [UNSCR 1325] plan.” It’s important because Palestinian women suffer from domestic and internal violence as well as from “Israeli ‘crimes’ and ‘occupation,’” she said.
“Women have the right to be protected, from internal and external violence,” she said. Efforts to bring Israel to the ICC are an important part of ensuring the safety of Palestinian women, she added.

Yuval Steinitz : Their actions are anti-Semitic
Tovah Lazarov, Jerusalem Post, 28-8-2016

On Thursday, Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz visited the Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria, to highlight his opposition to BDS and his support for settler products. He made a point of stopping at a halva factory there, in light of the news that Brussels Airlines has dropped that item from its menu, because it was produced in a settlement.
“Boycotting halva produced in Barkan and Ariel is like boycotting the State of Israel and the people of Israel,” he said. Their actions here are discriminatory and anti-Semitic, Steinitz said.

Definition of Semite
1: a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia
including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
2: a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language (Merriam-Webster)

Please note that Israel is NOT a Semitic country!
When Israel really was a SEMITIC country (fighting against all forms of anti-Semitism),
all citizens (Arabs and Hebrews) would be equals.

Syria: Daraya's rebel fighters and families arrive in Idlib
The New Arab & agencies, 27 August, 2016

Syrian opposition fighters and their families have arrived in Idlib after being forced to evacuate their homes in Daraya following a regime-rebel agreement.
The first group of rebels and their families evacuated from the Syrian town of Daraya have reached opposition-held territory, a monitor said on Saturday. At least five buses carrying fighters and their families arrived in the rebel-held city of Idlib in Syria's northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The arrivals were the first since the evacuation of the town just outside Damascus began on Friday under an agreement between the government and the rebels. Civilian residents of the town are also being evacuated. They are being taken to regime-run reception centres pending resettlement elsewhere.

Idlib 2015 (infidels are the enemy) - Oppositionleader Hijab, Daraa 2012 - Idlib 2014 (bookburning - honoring Bin Laden)

Daraya, just 15 minutes from Damascus, was one of the first towns in Syria to rise up against President Bashar al-Assad's government and became a symbol of the uprising.
It was surrounded by loyalist forces in late 2012. The rebels said they were forced to agree to evacuate the town because of deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

The Multi Fronted War on Syria:
Hostile Media and GCC Terror Sponsorship
By Alia Allana (, Sunday, Aug 28, 2016

Introduction: From 2009 to 2012 V. P. Haran was the Indian Ambassador to Syria. It is in talks with the Indian Ink Fountain magazine that he explained how some of the media amplified the revolt, and also misrepresented any evidence of the presence of Al Qaeda on the ground from the first days of the conflict.

- What was Syria like when you arrived in January 2009?
- Syria was a peaceful country and there was no undercurrent of tension. The Syrian economy was doing well, there was over five per cent growth rate on average. Unemployment was at about eight per cent but Syrians who were unemployed could find work in the Gulf. There was, however, a high percentage of educated unemployed.

- Did you anticipate an “Arab Spring” in Syria?
- When the situation got tense in Tunisia and Egypt, President Bashar al-Assad appeared on TV and stated that the political and economic conditions were different in Syria. He said he was confident Syria would not go down the same path. This was also the general assessment of the diplomatic community.

- Bashar al-Assad was a popular leader and this is partly the reason why he is still in power
- Sixty-seven percent of the entire Arab world had voted for al-Assad as the most popular Arab person in a poll in 2009. Even the diplomatic community agreed that he had the support of about 80 per cent of Syria. Western diplomats said so as well.
He had begun reforms in 2000 but didn’t carry those through because of opposition from the Baath party. Bashar al-Assad has the full support of the minorities and even a large percentage of the Sunni Muslims support him.
But by the time I left, in 2012, Syria had changed a lot. While the first couple of years were like heaven, things started deteriorating by early 2011.

- Do you recall the first protests in 2011?
- In February, when Bahrain experienced protests, there were attempts by some NGOs to organise protests in Damascus. Two had been organised over two weekends but hardly 20-30 people turned up. The number of journalists and members from the diplomatic community was far greater than the demonstrators.
Then in March 2011 children wrote tags on the walls of the school and there was a big protest. The following week there was a protest in Latakia and then with each passing Friday something happened. Soon parts of Latakia, Homs and Hama were chaotic but Aleppo remained calm and this troubled the opposition greatly.

Luba Al Shibl, 30-3-2012: Al-Jazeera betrayed the media-Ethics

The opposition couldn’t get the people in Aleppo to rise up against the regime so they sent bus loads of people to Aleppo. These people would burn something on the streets and leave. Journalists would then broadcast this saying Aleppo had risen.
A few things need to be said about this: some parts of the media went overboard in projecting Syria negatively. At times things that didn’t happen were reported... There was a lot of exaggeration by the media.

There is one instance that stands out. In Idlib, hardcore Sunnis had gone to Aleppo and told the people to join the opposition. People in Aleppo started beating them and ordered them to leave.
The crowd had been unruly and the police had to come in and control it. The hardcore Sunnis from Idlib had to be taken to a house and the police had to give them their uniforms so that they could leave without being lynched.

- But parts of the country remained calm.
- The foreign leaders of the opposition could not digest this. They sent a group of people to the Syrian-Jordanian border and attacked two security posts. They killed everybody there. Some were killed in the most brutal manner in al-Qaeda style. The government didn’t report this immediately but a member of the diplomatic community confirmed it was al-Qaeda in Iraq who had done it.
It was evident that al-Qaeda in Iraq was in Syria since April 2011. Al-Qaeda was there from the very first week, and if not the first week then from late 2011 when al-Qaeda banners appeared.
It was these groups that provided the opposition with support from across the border. In Raqqa the fighters came from the north and it was clear that it was al-Qaeda.

- Assad has been saying that it was terrorists from the beginning. Why did no one believe him?
- People’s minds were not open. Why would al-Qaeda in Iraq want to create chaos in Syria? A lot of it was being directed by outsiders, especially the Gulf countries. Al Jazeera played a role, too.

- Why did the Syrian government not present a better case about the presence of terrorists?
- We asked them why they didn't inform the media better and they said that nobody believed them. They had very bad Public Relations and handling of the media...
Bashar al-Assad was not just slow on enacting reforms but also slow on announcing changes that had been undertaken. For instance when they enacted a reform reducing the primacy of the Baath Party, the reform wasn’t reported until three months later.
Their Public Relations service wasn't wise...

Western people "don't know who we are" - adviser to Syrian President Assad
Eva Bartlett, Russia Today, 24 Aug, 2016

In early August, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, spoke with me about how the Western media is stifling Syrian voices, endlessly propagating false allegations against the Syrian government and army.
On the question of the Western media’s reaction whenever the Syrian Arab Army liberates areas from foreign-backed terrorists (the most recent examples include the liberation of Aleppo's Bani Zaid and Lairamoun industrial districts from the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA), Jabhat al-Nusra, Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Ahrar al-Sham, among other terrorist factions), which was met with deafening silence by Western corporate media, Shaaban accused the Western media of “double standards.”
“They should have hailed the Syrian Arab Army that liberated these Syrian citizens from terrorism, and they should have hailed overcoming these terrorist groups that were sending hell into Aleppo.
“There's no real stand against terrorism,” the Syrian president’s adviser continued. “The live of civilians in Syria is as worthy as the live of civilians in any European country, and one should be human in this regard.”

At this point in the interview, the Syrian president’s political and media adviser had harsh words for the present state of the Western media, which she said routinely “falsifies the facts”.
“There's no free press in the West. There is a corporate media who have an agenda and who try to portray everything according to that agenda. Either they're labeling accusations against us or falsifying facts and reporting things that have nothing to do with the truth...
Shaaban lamented that because the media has "demonized us in the eyes of Western people," the Western people "don't know who we are".
"We don't have a voice with Western people. We have no channel of communication; the corporate media is blocking the channels of communication between us and the West," she continued.

The conversation then moved to the recent announcement that Jabhat al-Nusra's (Al-Qaeda in Syria) had changed its name and whether this means they are somehow no longer terrorists.
“They are terrorists,” Shaaban responded. “It is the deeds that matter, not the name. This is good for a Hollywood film: a terrorist organization that has been killing in Syria for five years and is an offshoot of al-Qaeda is now changing its name, which means that it has become a 'moderate opposition'. This is absolutely ludicrous, and no sensible person should take this seriously.”

Shaaban also spoke on the West’s fight against terrorism, which she described as a “farce.” To support the assertion, Shaaban pointed to Western leaders and the UN itself disregarding UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2253, which entails stopping terrorism in Syria. At the same time, they support UNSC Resolution 2254 and NATO’s alliance plan of implementing a change of government in Syria.
“I would like anybody in the UN to answer this question: You want to implement 2254? Why don't you mention 2253? They should be dealt with with the intention in which they were taken: implement 2253 first, and then it would be very easy to implement 2254,” Dr. Shaaban asserted.
The focus of UNSC Resolution 2253 is specific to actually stopping terrorism of “ISIL (also known as Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals and groups ..”
“It is a Security Council resolution and it was issued under the 7th Chapter, so it is more obliging than 2254. And yet even the UN people don't mention it. This is the double-standards of the West.."

John Brennan, CIA director: Governments are under stress
"People are shifting their allegiances away from the nation state "
Central Intelligence Agency website, 29-6-2016

In a host of countries, from East Asia to the Middle East to West Africa, governments are under stress, and civic institutions are struggling to provide basic services and to maintain law and order.
As governments in these regions recede from the center of national life, more people are shifting their allegiances away from the nation state and toward sub-national groups, leading societies that once embraced a national identity to fracture along ethnic and sectarian lines.
Nowhere is this trend more evident than in the Middle East, a region I have studied closely for much of my professional life. When I lived there years ago, I liked to walk through neighborhoods and villages to observe the rhythms of everyday life. I remember seeing people of different backgrounds and beliefs living side by side, secular and devout.

"..a whole generation is growing up in an environment of militarism.."

Today, relations among these groups are too often marred by suspicion and distrust and even outright hostility. Extremist groups have played a key role in fueling these tensions, luring impressionable young men and women to join their cause, and spreading false narratives meant to divide and inflame.
In some areas, a whole generation is growing up in an environment of militarism, without a chance to develop the skills to contribute to or even to engage in modern-day society.
The underlying causes of these trends are complex and difficult to address and the long-term consequences of these developments are deeply troubling.
Global instability is an issue that affects all countries, from Russia to China to the United States, and it must be met by a strong, collective response from the international community. I am certain it will loom large on the agenda of the next Administration...

"If it’s not broken, don’t fix it."
"Iraq was not broken, Libya was not broken, Syria was not broken.."
‘They started to fix it and they have got what is happening there now."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Three Syrian Patriarchs Issue Appeal to Lift Sanctions Against Syria
Don't support the destroyers of the Nation State
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, 23-8-2016

The Three Patriarchs residing in Damascus, John X (Greek Orthodox), Gregorius III Lahham (Greek Catholic) and Ignatius Aphrem II (Syriac Orthodox), have issued the following Appeal to the International Community demanding the countries of power to stop the siege and lift the international sanctions on Syria.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011, the impact of the economic and financial sanctions increased on the daily lives of Syrian citizens.

This constituted a huge burden which deepened the suffering of the Syrian people. These sanctions represent another aspect of the crisis and result in more pressure on individuals, institutions, companies, and consequently on the entire people.
The absence of new investments and the ban on international flights to Syria, as well as the reduction of exportation to the country and listing some Syrian companies on the blacklist of international trade, are considered to be economical measures towards the isolation of Syria from the international community.
Furthermore, the closing of most of the embassies of western countries in Syria and the withdrawal of their employees limits the diplomatic relations and the foreign interaction of Syria with other countries. Moreover, the ban on international banking transactions with Syria puts the people in a financial difficulty. It impoverishes the citizens and threatens them in their daily bread and deprives them of their human dignity.

Though the main goals of imposing these sanctions are political, they touched the life of the entire Syrian people, especially the poor and working class whose ability to provide their basic daily needs such as food and medical care are greatly affected.
Despite the resolution of the Syrian people in the face of the crisis, the social situation is getting worse and the poverty and suffering of the Syrian people are constantly increasing.
Therefore, we, the three Patriarchs residing in Damascus where we closely feel the suffering of the people of Syria of all religions and denominations, raise our voices in this humanitarian appeal demanding the lifting of the economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian people who remain attached to their homeland and to the civilizations that exist for thousands of years.
It will strengthen their attachment to the land of their ancestors and help restore the harmony among all citizens.
Likewise, it will limit the exploitation of the misery of the Syrian people by groups who do not want the common good of the country.

The Real US Syria Scandal: Supporting Sectarian War
by Gareth Porter,, August 31, 2016

The main criticism of US policy in Syria has long been that President Barack Obama should have used US military force or more aggressive arms aid to strengthen the armed opposition to Assad.
The easy answer is that the whole idea that there was a viable non-extremist force to be strengthened is a myth – albeit one that certain political figures in London and Washington refuse to give up.
The question that should have been debated is why the Obama administration acquiesced to its allies funding and supplying a group of unsavory sectarian armed groups to overthrow the Assad regime.
That US acquiescence is largely responsible for a horrible bloodletting... Worse yet, there is still no way to end the war without the serious threat of sectarian retribution against the losers.

“The Obama administration bears responsibility for this atrocity, because it could have prevented Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia from launching their foolishly adventurous war in Syria...
But instead of insisting that those three Sunni allies reconsider their options, the Obama administration gave the green light at a conference in Riyadh at the end of March 2012 for proceeding with arming those who wanted to replace the regime, leaving the United States ostensibly free to be a peacemaker...
Turkey and Qatar began funneling arms to the groups with the strongest commitment to a sectarian anti-Shiite and anti-Alawite viewpoint. A major recipient of Turkish funding and arms was Ahrar al-Sham, which shared its al-Qaeda ally al-Nusra Front’s sectarian Sunni view of the Alawite minority. It considered the Alawites to be part of the Shiite enemy and therefore the object of a “holy war”.
Another favorite of the US allies was Jaish al-Islam, the Salafist organization in the Damascus suburbs whose former leader Zahran Alloush talked openly about cleansing Damascus of the Shiites and Alawites, both of whom he lumped together as “Majous” – the abusive term used for pre-Islamic non-Arabic people from Iran.
If there was any doubt that the anti-Alawite sectarianism of the past is still a major part of the thinking of the armed opposition, it should have been eliminated after what happened during the “Great Battle for Aleppo”.
The newly renamed al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat Fateh al Sham, which planned and led that offensive to break through Syrian government lines around Aleppo, named the offensive after Ibrahim al-Yousef, the Muslim Brotherhood officer who had carried out the cold-blooded murder of Alawite recruits at the artillery school in Aleppo in 1979...

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Flashback, Libya 2011: Washington in Fierce Debate on Arming Al-Qaeda Rebels
Clinton: Rebels are 'a mystery' - but we will remove Gaddafi
Washington Post, March 29, 2011

The Obama administration is engaged in a fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels in Libya, senior officials said on Tuesday, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement in a civil war and that some fighters may have links to Al Qaeda.
The debate has drawn in the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, these officials said, and has prompted an urgent call for intelligence about a ragtag band of rebels who are waging a town-by-town battle against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, from a base in eastern Libya long suspected of supplying terrorist recruits. “Al Qaeda in that part of the country is obviously an issue,” a senior official said....
The French government, which has led the international charge against Colonel Qaddafi, has placed mounting pressure on the United States to provide greater assistance to the rebels....

In London, Mrs. Clinton and other Western leaders made it clear that the NATO-led operation would end only with the removal of Colonel Qaddafi, even if that was not the stated goal of the United Nations resolution. Mrs. Clinton — who met for a second time with a senior opposition leader, Mahmoud Jibril — acknowledged that as a group, the rebels were largely a mystery.

Syrian Arab Army, still fighting Western backed Ultraconservative Islamists
ARA News, September 2, 2016

Syria’s government secured a deal to restore its authority over another rebellious Damascus suburb, while Syrian rebels captured new ground in a lightning advance on the central city of Hama and suspected government airstrikes killed 25 civilians in the surrounding province.
On Thursday, Moadamiyeh’s residents agreed to let President Bashar Assad’s government restore its security presence and political institutions in the suburb, according to Hassan Ghadour, a resident and leading negotiator of the deal.
Ghadour said 200 gunmen who did not wish to give up their arms would be allowed safe passage to rebel-held areas in Syria’s northwestern Idlib and Aleppo provinces. The implementation to the agreement is expected to begin on Friday.

The development came as an uneasy truce continued to hold on Thursday between Turkish troops and Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria, despite Ankara’s vow that it would never negotiate with what it calls a “terror organization.”
The United States has called on both sides to stop fighting each other following Turkey’s incursion into the area last week, and instead focus on defeating the ISIS group.

Western backed jihadists reject any peacedeal

Elsewhere in Syria on Thursday, at least 25 civilians, were killed in Hama as rebels made new gains there...
The rebel offensive is led by an ultraconservative Islamic group, Jund al-Aqsa, and several factions from the Western-backed Free Syrian Army. In the past three days, the insurgents have pushed their way from the north of the province, where they are usually based, south toward government-held areas. Syria’s state news agency, SANA, said government warplanes killed 10 “terrorists” in northern Hama.
According to a military source in the province, the jihadist rebels quickly advanced south of Taybat Al-Imam to the nearby village of Khirbat Al-Hujamah... Following the capture of Khattab, Jund Al-Aqsa and their allies moved onto the key town of Khattab.

Jund al-Aqsa - “Soldiers of al-Aqsa”, formed c. 2012 - is a foreign fighter battalion that is comprised of various nationalities, including South Asian origin, as well as a Syrian contingent. The batallion is deployed in the Idlib and Hama governorates to fight Syrian Government forces. The Salafist jihadist rebel group, was founded by Abu Abdul 'Aziz al-Qatari as a subunit within the al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda in Syria). The group later became independent.

Al Qaeda Is Gaining Strength in Syria
AINA News|, 2-9-2016

Al Qaeda's presence and influence in Syria was never confined to its formal affiliate, the Nusra Front. It dispatched numerous senior leaders and strategists to oversee the creation of a vanguard for al Qaeda within the Syrian revolutionary movement after the start of the civil war in 2011.
These operatives not only advised the Nusra Front's top leadership, but also leaders of other Syrian opposition groups. Al Qaeda's intent was to cultivate a series of rebel groups sympathetic to its aims while building a formal affiliate to normalize and diffuse its ideology.

The Syrian war now involves U.S.-vetted and armed moderate groups, but also includes a significant component belonging to either Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the successor of the Nusra Front, or its close ally, Ahrar al-Sham.
Both are now vital components of the largest opposition coalitions operating in Aleppo, Jaysh al-Fatah, and Fatah Halab...
There is a common perception that Ahrar al-Sham never fully absorbed al Qaeda's ideology, despite al Qaeda's intent to use the group as part of its Syrian vanguard.
Current U.S. policy assumes that Ahrar al-Sham can be split from al Qaeda and reconciled to a future Syrian state. This is little more than wishful thinking.
Ahrar al-Sham's activity demonstrates that its strategy is joined at the hip with al Qaeda... Al Qaeda's signature is apparent in Ahrar al-Sham's campaign to transform the religious identity of Syrians.
The group governs through a series of sharia courts throughout the northern Idlib and Aleppo provinces, operating in parallel to the Nusra Front, which enforces hard-line rulings such as veil requirements for women and restricts freedom of the press.
Ahrar al-Sham's goal is to replace the Assad regime with a theocracy... Syrian opposition groups nonetheless view Ahrar al-Sham as a "mainstream" actor, because of its major contributions to the war against the Assad regime.

The battle for Aleppo stands to solidify Ahrar al-Sham's influence over the local population in Syria.
Meanwhile, Turkey is using its intervention in northern Syria against the Islamic State and the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces to position itself as a power broker and is empowering its strongest opposition ally, Ahrar al-Sham, to play a key role.
Ahrar al-Sham participated in the Turkey-backed offensive near the Euphrates but did not publicize its role... Ahrar al Sham has long called for Turkey's direct involvement in the Syrian Civil War...

Ahrar al-Sham is as much a part of al Qaeda's long game in Syria as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. It shares the same goal to shape Syria's population in a way that facilitates global jihad... Its pragmatic approach advances al Qaeda's aim to build a durable safe haven in the Levant.

Lavrov: Any anti-terrorism coordination on Syria cannot be implemented
without separating opposition from terrorists
Syrian Arab News Agency, 2 September 2016

Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov affirmed on Friday that any agreements with the United States on coordinating counter-terrorism efforts in Syria will not be implemented till the so-called “opposition” is separated from terrorists.
During a press conference following talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Vladivostok city, Lavrov said that Russia is holding talks with US on a mechanism to coordinate efforts on Syria and it counts on it.
“Near-daily and weekly contacts are held between the Russian and US military and intelligence services in order to develop this mechanism. We expect that this work will be completed in the very near future,” Lavrov added.

He pointed out that the situation when Jabhat al-Nusra uses Syrian opposition to avoid strikes cannot continue forever.
Many groups that Americans consider acceptable for negotiations have in fact allied with al-Nusra. Al-Nusra, meanwhile, uses them to escape attacks.
This is a situation that cannot continue indefinitely,” Lavrov told reports, adding that this important issue relies on the possibility of the implementation of coordinating efforts to fight terrorism.

Flashback: Al-Nusra & the FSA
Thomas Joscelyn, longwarjournal, 16-2-2016

In August 2015 Abu Firas al Suri, a senior al Qaeda operative in Syria, defended the jihadists’ relationship with Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated groups that should be counted as an ally in the fight against the Assad regime.
In an interview with “On the Ground News,” Abu Firas al Suri discussed Al Nusrah’s rivalry with the Islamic State at length. Suri, a longtime al Qaeda member who sits on Al Nusrah’s elite shura council, explained that the so-called “caliphate” had criticized Al Nusrah for cooperating with the FSA.
Suri found the Islamic State’s complaints to be misguided, because the FSA factions allied with Al Nusrah had no ideological project of their own, were willing to adjudicate any disputes in common sharia courts, and were fighting Assad.
The Free Syrian Army groups said they were ready for anything according to the Islamic sharia and that we are delegated to apply the rulings of the sharia on them,” Suri explained...
“The FSA is a very wide sector, it is not an organized group. The FSA is composed of many groups.” He then listed FSA member organizations that were acceptable allies, including “Al-Zinky,” meaning the Nur al-Din al-Zanki Movement.
“The FSA doesn’t have an ideology that can be applied on its followers,” Suri surmised. “The important thing is they fight the regime.”

Middle East Online, 4-4-2016: The spokesman for Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front, Abu Firas al-Suri, his son and 20 other jihadists were killed in air strikes Sunday in the northeast of the country. Syrian Suri, real name Radwan Nammous, fought against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan where he met Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his mentor Abdullah Azzam before returning to Syria in 2011.

Meeting to enhance local reconciliations held in Homs province
Syrian Arab News Agency, 4 September 2016

Homs, SANA - A national meeting was held at Tal Ahmar village in the eastern countryside of Homs province with the participation of elderly men from 50 villages.

The meeting is just another move forward towards enhancing local reconciliations and expanding its geographical dimensions to include all Syria which would contribute to reaching a Syrian-Syrian solution to current crisis.
Attending the meeting, Interior Minister Mohammad al-Sha’ar stressed the Syrian leadership’s keenness on providing support to local reconciliation initiatives taking place throughout the country in parallel with its efforts to confront terrorism, highlighting the significance of such meeting since it brings together all spectrums of Syrian people. He expressed gratitude and appreciation to Russia for its role in combating terrorism and offering support to make such initiatives a success, indicating that organizing these meetings is a victory for Syrian people and serves their hopes in defeating terrorism...
For his part, Head of Hmeimim-based Russian Coordination Center, Sergei Schwarkov stressed the importance of this meeting which aims at unifying the Syrian people, reiterating his country’s firm stance to support Syria in its war on terrorism.

Main missions of the coordination center:
• receive appeals from representatives of local authorities and armed groupings through a common telephone line and an e-mail address concerning their willingness to stop the combat actions and to negotiate for a truce;
• provide any assistance to everyone who makes addresses to the Centre of organization of contacts and further cooperation with the Syrian state authorities in order to sign ceasefire and peace-making agreements;
• organization of cooperation with international organizations in the field of deliveries of humanitarian cargoes to the Syrian population and return of refugees from other regions and countries. ( Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 24-2-2016)

Possess and Occupy
By Tuvia Brodie, Arrutz Sheva (right wing) Blogs
Zion's Corner, 2-9-2016

The entire world stands together: only evil people are ‘occupiers’. Israel is an occupier. Israel is evil...
But all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan represents the exact east-west borders that HaShem identified in the Torah for the Jewish people to possess-and-occupy [live in] (B’midbar, 34:1-9). This is the land HaShem Promised in the Torah to the Jewish people.
The existence of modern Israel is the fulfilment of that Godly Promise. Our current borders are, essentially, God’s borders.
After identifying these borders in the Torah, HaShem proceeded, through the entire Book of D’varim, to tell the Jewish nation to occupy…occupy…occupy, etc that land..

When you look in the Talmud tractate, Kiddushin, 37a (ArtScroll translation), you see why ‘occupy’ is a more appropriate translation than ‘possess’.
Kiddushin (ibid) refers to the Torah’s call ‘to dwell’ in the land of Israel. Kiddushin tells us that, in order to ‘dwell’ in the Holy Land, the Jewish nation must first possess the land and then create ‘settlement’ there (ibid).
‘Possess’ is just the beginning of a process. ‘Occupy’ (living in) is the whole point of going into the land. One ‘occupies’ by dwelling there; one ‘dwells’ by ‘settling’; one settles by building (ibid). The Torah (our Written law) and the Talmud (our Oral law) tell us to possess, occupy and settle-through-building the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. This is exactly what the Jewish people do today. Anti-Israel gentiles and Arabs (and some non-believing Jews) reject this entire process.
Through our Torah and Talmud, God tells you to occupy (live in), settle and build. Gentiles and Arabs reject God. They tell you to get the hell out.
Whom do you believe — God, or those who reject God?

Torah Study for Reform Jews:
Our God is a God of being, not having!

When in the Tent of Meeting Moses pleads with God: "Oh, let me behold Your Presence!" (Exodus 33:18), God reveals God's self to Moses by the name Y-H-V-H, from the verb "be."
Our God is a God of being, not having: "Adonai! Adonai! I am compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin." (Exodus 34:6-7)
"I am,…I am,…I am,..." says the God of being.

Erich Fromm : If one has nothing, one is nothing

The Having mode concentrates on material possession, acquisitiveness, power, and aggression and is the basis of such universal evils as greed, envy, and violence.
The Being mode is based on love, in the pleasure of sharing, and in meaningful and productive rather than wasteful activity.
The alternative of having versus being does not appeal to common sense. To have, so it would seem, is a normal function of our life: in order to live we must have things. Moreover, we must have things in order to enjoy them.
In a culture in which the supreme goal is to have -- and to have more and more -- and which one can speak of someone as "being worth a million dollars," how can there be an alternative between having and being?
On the contrary, it would seem that the very essence of being is having; that if one has nothing, one is nothing.

Israel's Religious Services Minister David Azoulay:
"Reform Jews Cannot Be Called Jews" (Haaretz, 7-7-2015)

Flashback 2010: Israel to occupy parts of West Bank for eternity
Abdul Jalil Mustafa - Arab News

JERUSALEM/AMMAN: Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday that his country would retain parts of the West Bank forever — a statement that infuriated Palestinians and could complicate the year-old peace mission of a visiting US envoy.
Netanyahu laid claim to disputed territory just hours after meeting with George Mitchell, the Obama administration’s Middle East envoy. Mitchell has been shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian leaders since late last week in hopes of breaking a deadlock over construction in Israeli settlements.

“Our message is clear: We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be an inseparable part of the state of Israel for eternity,” Netanyahu proclaimed at a tree-planting ceremony celebrating the Jewish arbor day at a settlement just south of Jerusalem. (Arab News, 24-1-2010)

Saddam's Death, page 9

ISIS forced from remaining part of Turkish-Syrian border
By Rudaw (Kurdistan Region), 5-9-2016

Islamic State (ISIS) militants have been pushed out of the remaining part of Syria’s northwestern border with Turkey by Turkish military and allied rebel militia forces, according to the Turkish prime minister and Syrian Observatory.
“From Azaz to Jarablus, 90 kilometers of our border have been completely secured,” Binali Yildirim said on Sunday during his visit to Turkey’s southeastern Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir. “All terrorist organizations are pushed back, they are gone,” he said, without naming ISIS.
But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS “has lost its link from the outside world after losing all border areas” it had with Turkey, following the fall of their remaining two border villages on Sunday evening – Mizab and Qadi Jarablus.
For three years the militants had a presence on that border they relied on it to bring in new recruits and weapons. Their removal from the Jarablus-Azaz region seals the complete border and is their biggest blow since Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) fighters successfully captured Gire Spi (Tal Abyad) from the militants on Syria’s northeastern border.
Turkey launched its military intervention, Operation Euphrates Shield, into northwestern Syria in August. Since then, they have been backing several Syrian militiamen against both ISIS militants and Kurdish-led forces it wants to prevent from advancing in regions west of the Euphrates River.

After Jarablus, Turkish army entering Syria’s Aleppo
ARA News (Kurdistan Region), 5-9-2016

ALEPPO – After capturing the Syrian border city of Jarablus, Turkish army forces continued their advance and entered Aleppo province, military sources reported on Sunday.
“At least 20 Turkish tanks and five armoured vehicles, accompanied by a large number of Turkish troops, have arrived in the northern countryside of Aleppo province,” spokesman for the Shamiya Front rebel group Saleh al-Zein told ARA News.
Also, hundreds of rebels from the Turkey-backed Sultan Murad Brigade and other Turkmen rebel factions accompanied the Turkish army in the advance towards Aleppo.
“The Turkish forces and allies have taken over al-Rae town north of Aleppo, turning the town into a military zone after claiming to have expelled ISIS militants from the area,” rebel spokesman al-Zein told ARA News. “However, there has been no fight between the Turkish forces and ISIS in al-Rae, which shows that ISIS has actually handed the town over to Turkey,” he added.
This comes just one day after the Turkish government sent military reinforcements to the Syrian northern city of Jarablus, that’s been taken by the Turkish forces and allied rebels of the Euphrates Shield Brigades on August 24 without resistance from ISIS.

Fighting for a 'moderate' Islamic State

Abu al-Tartusi (Mufti of 'the revolution'):
"Once the Caliphate Is Established, the Chief Caliph Will Rule for Life"

Syrian Turkmen Brigades, also called the United Turkmen Army, are an informal armed opposition structure composed of Syrian Turkmen that form the military wing of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly, primarily fighting against the Syrian Armed Forces, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Syrian Democratic Forces. They are aligned with the Syrian opposition and are heavily supported by Turkey, who provides funding and military training along with artillery and aerial support.
The groups represents a wide spectrum of ideologies from hardline Islamism to secular Turkish nationalism. Turkmen opposition to the Assad regime and Baathist ideology stretches back tens of years. There was a systematic political economic crackdown against the Turkmen that prevented them from developing their regions. It became illegal to speak or write in Turkish and illegal to practice or spread Turkish culture - organizations that wanted to do this would not get permission from the state.

The Sultan Murad Brigade is part of a rebel coalition that includes: Ahrar al Sham (hardline Salafi-jihadi group) - Fastaqem Union (supporting Salafi-jihadi ideology) - Suqur Jabal (US-backed group) - 1st Rgmnt. (Sunni Islamists) - Zinki Movement (Sunni Islamists) - Muntasir Brigade (pledget alligance to the Syrian al Qaeda group al Nusra).
The alliance is reportedly headed by Ahrar al Sham leader Hashim al-Sheikh (see picture above).

Is political Islam an obstacle to peaceful coexistence?
Samar Fatany, Al-Arabya, Monday, 5 September 2016

Muslim radicals use religion as a political justification to publicize their terrorist propaganda.
They have politicized Islam and distorted its teachings to promote their own selfish agendas... Politicizing Islam has distorted its message of peace and compassion. Politics are based on deception and selfish agendas for military and economic gains.
Religious leaders who have politicized Islam claim that they are the true defenders of the faith and that it is their duty to preserve the teachings of Islam. However, in reality what they advocate is contrary to the Islamic principles of peace, mercy and compassion toward mankind. Their distorted ideology is based on bigotry and intolerance.
Political Islam has alienated Muslims everywhere and continues to threaten the lives of innocent believers all over the world.
Rejectionist voices who maintain a negative stand and impose their ultraconservative interpretations of Islam to gain power are impediments to peace in the region...
The Council of Senior Ulema, which represents the consensus of officially recognized senior Islamic scholars, has a responsibility to reject ultraconservative interpretations that influence ongoing divisions between sects...
There is an urgency to promote a viable civil society and to build strong civic institutions to complement economic goals and targets.
It is critical to develop a sense of optimism among the Arab masses and promote meaningful change.
Although Western media is full of doomsday scenarios for the region and many economists and global experts remain very skeptical, opinion leaders in the Arab world have a responsibility to inspire hope and change for a better future.

Syrian forces put opposition-held Aleppo under siege for the second time
Daily Sabah (Turkey), 5-9-2016

Syrian regime forces and their allies recaptured areas in southwestern Aleppo on Sunday that opposition fighters had seized last month and laid siege to the city's opposition-held eastern sector for a second time since July, opposition groups and monitors said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said regime forces backed by Russian air strikes had now severed the alternate route into the opposition-held east that fighters opened up in August: "The army took control of the artillery academy, so they control all the academies, and the eastern neighborhoods are under a full siege..."
Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastaqim rebel group confirmed reports that the complex had been retaken by government forces. That place eastern Aleppo under siege, he said.
Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, wants to recapture all of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city before the five-year-old conflict. It has been roughly divided between rebel control in the east and government control in the west since mid-2012, and in recent months regime troops have gradually surrounded the city.
On July 17, they severed the only remaining route into the opposition-held east, the key Castello Road running down from the border with Turkey. The road's capture led to shortages of food and fuel in the eastern neighborhoods, and prompted international concern, including calls for 48-hour ceasefires to allow aid to enter.
On August 6, opposition forces including Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate Nusra Front pushed regime forces back from a key route south of the city, creating a lifeline back into the east.

Aleppo has 7 corridors for aid delivery, one for militants to exit: Russian DM
By Al-Masdar News Desk - 06/09/2016

Eight special corridors are currently open in the Syrian city of Aleppo where the Russian military, supported by the Syrian authorities, are conducting a humanitarian operation, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said.
“Each day water, food and essentials are delivered to local residents through seven special corridors,” he told reporters on Monday.
“The eighth one is open near Castello Road for armed militants to leave the city,” Antonov said.
The Russian military have been conducting the humanitarian operation in Aleppo for a month now, he said.
“The question of providing humanitarian aid to all Aleppo residents, despite the ongoing talks between all parties concerned, has not lost its relevance.”

Arab League, dominated by Saudi Arabia & Qatar
Fighting Iran, No support for the Palestinians
Dina Ezzat , Monday 5 Sep 2016

On Thursday Arab foreign ministers will meet at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League..
Typically, the top diplomats of the Arab states will revise a long list of issues that are permanently on their agenda, supposedly with an eye on boosting relations and common interests. However, only a few matters will actually get serious attention from the diplomatic delegations.
Facing up to what Riyadh says are Iranian ambitions to expand its influence across the Arab world at the expense of Saudi influence is the top priority...
According to Arab diplomats, the Saudis are very worried by the continued and inconclusive war they have been waging against the Iranian-supported Houthis in Yemen... The Saudis are also upset that they have been unable to grant a military or political victory to their allies either in Syria or in Iraq against those supported by Iran in both countries.

Jihadis in Syria

The most powerful army fighting against the Syrian army, The Army of Conquest, a unification of several Jihadi militias, is a fruit of Turkish-Saudi coordination. In addition, there's the so-called Islam Army, whose head Zahran Alloush, was promoted by Turkey and Saudi Arabia as the savior who will not only defeat the Syrian army, but also wipe out ISIL

The Arab foreign ministers' meeting will be convening in the wake of an expected deal between the US and Russia on handling the situation in Syria. Obviously, the son of the Saudi king, Prince Mohamed Ben Salman, who assumes the role of the second crown prince and minister of defence, had held meetings with participating American and Russian officials to make sure that whatever the deal that Washington and Moscow will cut, it would not come at the expense of the Sunni groups that Riyadh had been supporting, with political and financial means, during their war with the army of the Iran-supported Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

According to the sources of Ahram Online at the Arab League, the office of the secretary-general of the Arab League had been in touch with Riyadh during the process of preparing the draft resolutions that the foreign ministers are expected to adopt on these two files and also on the resolutions related to the situation in Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
“Saudi Arabia is effectively the country with the loudest voice at the Arab League now,” said the same Arab League diplomat...
Arab League diplomats, serving and recently retired, blame the leadership of former Arab League Secretary General, for the augmentation of Gulf influence at the league during the past five years.
In the words of some of those diplomats who had served closely with Nabil El-Arabi, the former secretary-general was always willing to facilitate the adoption of the Saudi or Qatari positions...
The same diplomats say that it was not the “personal choice” of the former secretary-general to bow to the wish of the GCC and especially Saudi Arabia - it was the way things were by the implicit consensus of all Arab countries including Egypt - and of course excluding Syria whose membership has been suspended at the Arab organisation since the heyday of the Arab Spring.
Today, the same diplomats argue, the new Arab League secretary-general, Ahmed Abul-Gheit, is following in the footsteps of his predecessor - “perhaps even faster”. He has clear announced positions against promoting relations with Iran and made some very unsympathetic remarks on the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.
According to El-Agati, the collective failure of the Arab countries to lend adequate support to the Palestinian cause during the past five years, for example, happened not because El-Arabi did not want to support the Palestinian cause, but because the Arab countries turned their backs on the issue.

Wahhabis, Salafis & The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The founder of Wahhabism, Mohammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, was born around 1700 in a small oasis town in the Najd region, in what is now central Saudi Arabia. He studied in Basra before returning to his home town of 'Uyayna in 1740. There he worked to spread (what he believed to be) the call (da'wa) for a restoration of true monotheistic worship, purified of innovations, such as invoking or making vows to "holy men" or "saints" (a common practice in Roman Catholicism and Iranian Sjia).
The "pivotal idea" of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's teaching was that people who called themselves Muslims but who participated in such innovations were not just misguided or committing a sin, but were "outside the pale of Islam altogether," as were Muslims who disagreed with his definition.
This included not just lax, unlettered, nomadic Bedu, but Shia, Sufi, and Ottomans. Such infidels were not to be killed outright, but to be given a chance to repent first.

Muhammad ibn Saud, the chief (emir) of an agricultural settlement near modern-day Riyadh, called Diriyah, invited ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab to join him, and in 1744 a pact was made between the two.
Ibn Saud would protect and propagate the doctrines of the Wahhabi mission, while ibn Abdul Wahhab "would support the ruler, supplying him with 'glory and power.'" Whoever championed his message, ibn Abdul Wahhab promised, "will, by means of it, rule the lands and men."
The alliance between the Wahhabi mission and Al Saud family has "endured for more than two and half centuries.
The two families have intermarried multiple times over the years and in today's Saudi Arabia, the minister of religion is always a member of the Al ash-Sheikh family, i.e., a descendent of Ibn Abdul Wahhab. (Wikipedia info)

Wahhabism is the Saudi version of Salafism

According to American scholar Christopher M. Blanchard, Wahhabism refers to "a conservative Islamic creed centered in and emanating from Saudi Arabia," while Salafiyya is "a more general puritanical Islamic movement that has developed independently at various times and in various places in the Islamic world."
However, many call Wahhabism a more strict, Saudi form of Salafi. Wahhabism is the Saudi version of Salafism, according to Mark Durie, who states Saudi leaders "are active and diligent" using their considerable financial resources "in funding and promoting Salafism all around the world."
Hamid Algar lists three "elements" Wahhabism and Salafism had in common. Above all disdain for all developments subsequent to al-Salaf al-Salih (the first two or three generations of Islam), the rejection of Sufism (men can meet God within themselves), and the abandonment of consistent adherence to one of the four or five Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh).

Azhar cleric: Salafists are not Sunnists
Press TV, Mon Sep 5, 2016

Saudi clerics have reacted angrily to recent remarks by Egyptian Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who excluded Salafists from Sunnis during a religious conference in Chechnya, Russia.
In the past El-Tayyeb criticized the insistence of the Salafis on minimalist interpreting Islam, stressing that Muslims have recognized a plurality of trends as correct for hundreds of years. He accused Salafis of putting too much focus on appearance, which should not be the priority of a Muslim. (Al-Azhar’s relations with other Sunni groups)

New Testamant, 1 Peter 3:3-4: "Do not let your adorning be external — the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear — but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

Restoration of the souk of Homs will be a real challenge
Breaking News Network Agencies, Syria 6-9-2016

In the heart of the Syrian city of Homs, workers clear rubble and clean the blackened walls of the war-ravaged old market in a bid to restore its former glory. Much of Homs lay in ruins when its Old City was recaptured from rebels by government troops in 2014 after a two-year siege and near-daily bombardment.
Now a UN-backed project is trying to restore the ancient souk, or market, in the central city, dubbed the "capital of the revolution" because of the enormous anti-regime protests that erupted there five years ago.
"The armed men used it as a transit point more than a battlefield, which is why the souk isn't more badly damaged," an official from the local governorate told AFP.
The majority of the souk's shops are abandoned for now, with some missing locks or doors, while the walls of others have been blackened by fire or pockmarked by shrapnel or bullets.

Homs Ancient Market (Souk) 2010 & 2016

Ghassan Jansiz, a 44-year-old architect, is supervising the work being undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme, and estimates the project will take around two years.
He says there are four steps involved: "Cleaning, documentation, renovation and reconstruction." "We're still in the first stage," he told AFP. "Removing the rubble is a dangerous process. We've found bombs and explosives," he explained. "We are trying to restore the souk to how it was 100 years ago, and the cost is expected to be several hundred thousand dollars."
At the moment, around 70 people are working on the project, which envisions the installation of four main gates, the restoration of 200 shops, and the documentation of the history of the site.

Main reason why the US security state refuses to tell the truth:
The American people would say 'no' to regime change
By Jeffrey D. Sachs, 5-9-2016

NEW YORK – Syria’s civil war is the most dangerous and destructive crisis on the planet.
Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has greatly compounded the dangers by hiding the US role in Syria from the American people and from world opinion.
An end to the Syrian war requires an honest accounting by the US of its ongoing, often secretive role in the Syrian conflict since 2011, including who is funding, arming, training, and abetting the various sides. Such exposure would help bring to an end many countries’ reckless actions...
A widespread – and false – perception is that Obama has kept the US out of the Syrian war.
Yet the curtain gets lifted from time to time. In January, the New York Times finally reported on a secret 2013 Presidential order to the CIA to arm Syrian rebels. As the account explained, Saudi Arabia provides substantial financing of the armaments, while the CIA, under Obama’s orders, provides organizational support and training...
The public was left in the dark: How big are the ongoing CIA-Saudi operations? How much is the US spending on Syria per year? What kinds of arms are the US, Saudis, Turks, Qataris, and others supplying to the Syrian rebels?
Which groups are receiving the arms? What is the role of US troops, air cover, and other personnel in the war? The US government isn’t answering these questions, and mainstream media aren’t pursuing them, either.
Through occasional leaks, investigative reports, statements by other governments, and rare statements by US officials, we know that America is engaged in an active, ongoing, CIA-coordinated war both to overthrow Assad and to fight ISIS. America’s allies in the anti-Assad effort include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and other countries in the region.
The US public has had no say in these decisions. There has been no authorizing vote or budget approval by the US Congress.
I am confident that the American people would respond with a resounding “no” to the ongoing US-led war of regime change in Syria. This is the main reason why the US security state refuses to tell the truth. The American people would call for peace rather than perpetual war.

Flashback 2013: As Syria war escalates, Americans cool to U.S. intervention
By Lesley Wroughton, Reuters, Sat Aug 24, 2013

Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict a Reuters/Ipsos poll says. About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.
In this week's Reuters/Ipsos survey of 1,448 people, just 27 percent said they supported his decision to send arms to some Syrian rebels; 47 percent were opposed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for each number.
About 11 percent said Obama should do more to intervene in Syria than sending arms to the rebels, while 89 percent said he should not help the rebels.

Saudi grand mufti: Iranians are children of Magi
Dhaka Tribune, September 06, 2016

Saudi Arabia’s top cleric said Iranians are “not Muslims”, after Iran’s supreme leader launched a fresh tirade over the kingdom’s handling of the hajj pilgrimage, AFP reports quoting a Saudi newspaper on Tuesday.
“We must understand these are not Muslims, they are children of Magi and their hostility towards Muslims is an old one. Especially with the people of Sunna,” Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh told Makkah daily, referring to pre-Islamic beliefs in Iran and to the Sunnis who make up the main branch of Islam.
The grand mufti’s comments came a day after Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Muslim world should challenge Saudi management of Islam’s two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina. “Because of Saudi rulers’ oppressive behaviour towards God’s guests, the world of Islam must fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places and the issue of hajj,” Khamenei wrote on his website.
Riyadh and Tehran are at odds over a raft of regional issues, notably the conflicts in Syria and Yemen in which they support opposing sides.

The Magi & Jesus Christ

The Magi, also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men or (Three) Kings, were, in the Gospel of Matthew and Christian tradition, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of Christian tradition.
According to Matthew, the only one of the four Canonical gospels to mention the Magi, they came "from the east" to worship the "king of the Jews". Although the account does not mention the number of Magi, the three gifts has led to the widespread assumption that there were three men. In Eastern Christianity, especially the Syriac churches, the Magi often number twelve.

"The way (Tao), Truth and Life"

The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek magos. Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e., the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born.
The term refers to the priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science.
The magi were monotheistic, believing in the existence of only one god (Ahura Mazda = "Wise God").
Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic, although Zoroastrianism was in fact strongly opposed to sorcery. The three gifts they bore may represent the gifts of "Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds" - the ancient Zoroastrian motto.
Historians tell us that no Persian was ever able to become king without mastering the scientific and religious disciplines of the magi and then being approved and crowned by them, and that this group also largely controlled judicial appointments.
We learn from the book of Daniel that the magi were among the highest-ranking officials in Babylon. (Wikipedia info)

A Fountain Of Life

"The civil society which we aspire to establish is based on our collective identity whose attainment requires the continuous and ceaseless endeavours of intellectuals and thinkers. It is not a treasure that can be unearthed overnight, rather, it is a fountain of life and morality from whose constant effusion we will benefit.
Therefore enjoyment of this treasure is gradual and dependent on scrupulous cognizance and re-examination of our heritage as well as our doctrinal and intellectual tradition on the one hand, and sophisticated, scientific and philosophical understanding of the modern world on the other.
Our success along this path depends upon politics serving thought and virtue and not acting as a confined and restrictive framework for them."

Seyyed Mohammad Khatami (President of the Islamic Republic of Iran 2003)

'Expel Livingstone', Jewish leaders urge Labour,
By Times of Israel staff September 6, 2016

The umbrella organization of British Jews on Monday called on the opposition Labour Party to expel Ken Livingstone from its ranks “immediately,” after the controversial former London mayor, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, again claimed that Adolf Hitler once supported the Zionist movement.
“Hitler’s persecution of the Jews started early in the 1930s,” Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl said in a statement. “He expressed his loathing for Zionism in the 1920s. But yet in 2016 Ken Livingstone seems to want to rewrite history to make it seem like Zionism was responsible for the Holocaust, which is as false as it is grotesquely offensive. Every day that Labour does not expel him is a stain on the party.”

Speaking on Vanessa Feltz’s BBC London radio show on Monday morning, Livingstone repeated the claims that he made on her show in April, which led to his suspension from the Labour party.
“The fact (is) that during the 1930s, Hitler collaborated with the Zionists and supported them because he believed that a solution to his problem – the Jews – was that they should all move to Palestine,” Livingstone said. “Then in the 1940s that changed and he decided on genocide. And that’s the point I made on your program. I’m just surprised that people didn’t check that it was true before they started screaming ‘Nazi apologist.’
Livingstone said accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against him were the result of his condemnation of Israeli government policies. “I have had this accusation thrown at me many times. It is only ever thrown at me when I am critical of the Israel government,” he said.

More info: Zionism And The Third Reich

True Torah Jews (Ultra Orthodox Jews), 05/04/2016:
Zionists and Nazis Worked Together to Sow the Seeds of Anti-Semitism in Germany

It was the Zionists who supported Nazism, collaborated with the Nazis, identified with Nazism - all due to the ideology of Zionism...
Both Zionism and Nazism believe in the inherent deficiency of the Jew. The only difference between them is in how the question should be answered. According to Nazism, the answer was first emigration and subsequently extermination. The Zionists preached the emigration of the Jews, and the preservation of their blood in Palestine.
For Zionism, the Nuremberg Laws were merely a restatement of their national character. The Judische Rundschau, the Zionist official organ in Germany, brazenly published a statement by A.J. Brandt, the head of the Nazis Press Association, that the enactment of the laws was for the Jews’ benefit:
Germany is helping Judaism to strengthen its national character and is making strides towards improving relations between the two peoples.” Through Zionism, the Nazis gained legitimate support to strip the Jews of their rights. Their shared ideology and Zionist assistance resulted in favoritism displayed by the Nazi leaders.
Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the Reich Main Security Office and the innovator of the Final Solution, knew enough to differentiate the Zionist from the Jew, a separate identity indeed. “We must separate Jewry into two categories… the Zionists and those who favor being assimilated.”
Adolf Eichmann did not hide his wholehearted support for Zionism: “I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist..."
After the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws, the Nazi prejudice in favor of Zionism could not have been more decisive. The only two flags allowed to be flown in Germany were the Nazi swastika and the Zionist Star of David. While all Jewish newspapers were banned (or 'cleaned' of Jewish ownership), the only notable exception was the Zionist Judische Rundschau (1902-1938).

Censorship in Nazi Germany (1933–1945)

Censorship in Nazi Germany was extreme and strictly enforced by the governing Nazi Party.
It was implemented by the Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. All media—literature, music, newspapers, and public events—were censored. Attempts were also made to censor private communications, such as mail and even private conversation, with mixed results.
The aim of censorship under the Nazi regime was simple: to reinforce Nazi power and to suppress opposing viewpoints and information.
Punishments ranged from banning of presentation and publishing of works to deportation, imprisonment, or even execution in a concentration camp. Hitler outlined his theory of propaganda and censorship in Mein Kampf:
"The chief function of propaganda is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time so they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on their mind."
During the spring of 1933, Nazi student organizations, professors, and librarians made up long lists of books they thought should not be read by Germans. Then, on the night of May 10, 1933, Nazis raided libraries and bookstores across Germany. They marched by torchlight in nighttime parades, sang chants, and threw books into huge bonfires. On that night more than 25,000 books were burned.
Most of the books were by non-Jewish writers, including such famous Americans as Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, and Sinclair Lewis, whose ideas the Nazis viewed as different from their own and therefore not to be read. (Wikipedia)

Lavrov, Kerry reach a deal on enhancing cessation of hostilities in Syria
Syrian Arab News Agency, 10 September 2016

"The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, have been going on virtually since the beginning.” Professor Jeremy Salt, October 2011, in 'Syria’s Islamist Insurrection in Disguise'

Syria - Daraa, march 2011: Start of the destructionprocess by the anti-democratic opposition.
The courthouse, the Ba'ath party headquarters in the city, and the Syriatel building owned by Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of President Assad, were then all set on fire.
The oppositiongroups wanted to eliminate the Syrian Arab Army, the Syrian Baath party, the Syrian presidency (represented by Bashar al-Assad) and the secular state.
None of them respected the 'will of the people', by forming political parties (a loyal, patriotic opposition). No dialogue, just demonize and destroy....

Geneva, SANA- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Friday reaching a deal to enhance the cessation of hostilities in Syria that would begin on Monday and that Russia and the US will coordinate to face terrorism and to provide the suitable conditions for the resumption of the inter-Syrian dialogue.
Lavrov, in a joint press conference with his US counterpart John Kerry and the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, added that his talks with Kerry resulted in signing five documents which include agreements reached by the two states that would lead to the resumption of the political process in Syria.
He indicated that the Russian-US deal focuses on the necessity of separating terrorists from the “Syrian opposition”, adding that the agreements include designating the areas where the armed terrorists will be targeted only by the Russian and the US air forces without the participation of the Syrian air force.
Lavrov added that despite of all difficulties, the two sides succeeded in preparing a document to face terrorism and to provide the necessary conditions for the resumption of the political dialogue. He pointed out that the Syrian Government is informed about this deal and it is ready to implement its provisions, and that Moscow and Washington are adhered to pushing all parties to implement it.
Lavrov added that the first step in the deal is holding a 48-hour truce then extending it for 48 more hours, and later the truce will be extended for seven consecutive days and after that a joint Russian-US coordination center will be established to coordinate air attacks against agreed terrorist targets in Syria. For his part, Kerry said that the US and Russia agreed on carrying out joint operations against Jabhat al-Nusra and the ISIS and that they call upon all the parties to adhere to the cessation of hostilities starting from the next Sunday midnight.
Kerry added that the “opposition” announced readiness to implement the agreements which means allowing the access of the humanitarian aid, pointing out that all parties declared readiness to sit to the dialogue table.
De Mistura welcomed the Russian-US deal, expressing the UN readiness to work with all parties to implement it.

Flashback 2011: People Are Seeking A Separate Existence In Nations
That Are Of, By And For Themselves Alone.
By Patrick J. Buchanan 26 mei 2011

"Right now, socially, we are disintegrating." So says Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and potential candidate for president of Egypt. Indeed, post-revolutionary Egypt appears to be coming apart. Since the heady days of Tahrir Square, Salafis have been killing Christians. Churches have been destroyed. Gangs have conducted mass prison breaks. The Muslim Brotherhood brims with confidence. "People do not feel secure," says ElBaradei, "They are buying guns." ...
Can the Arab revolts cope with "the cacophony of diversity ... the Arab world's variety of clans, sects, ethnicities and religions?" Or will we witness the disintegration of nations like Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as we did Ethiopia and the Sudan—and of African, Latin American, Asian and European nations, as well?
With the end of the Cold War in 1991, it seemed the world was moving toward unity. The post-Cold War era saw the expansion of the European Union, NAFTA and GATT, the creation of a World Trade Organization, the Rome Treaty for the prosecution of war crimes, the Kyoto Protocol, and the G-7 expand to the G-8 and then to the G-20. Nations seemed to be coming together to solve global problems. Today, nations seem everywhere to be coming apart.

Is the greater likelihood that the Arab nations, riven by rebellion and revolution, will become democracies, or that they will disintegrate along religious, ethnic and tribal lines? Indeed, where is the democratic model for the Middle East? There is none....
In the 21st century, the call of one's God and the claims of blood and soil seem more magnetic than the ideologies of the 19th and 20th century: Marxism, socialism or democracy. People do not seem to seek equality with other cultures, faiths and tribes, but a separate existence in nations that are of, by and for themselves alone. (Buchanan Archive 2011)

Syrian rebel coalition blames US for killing jihadi commander
"They are not concerned for the revolution" - ARA News, 11-9-2016

ALEPPO – The Syrian rebel coalition of the Army of Conquest on Saturday blamed the US coalition for killing the jihadi General Commander Abu Omar Saraqeb last Thursday.
Abu Omar Saraqeb, the top military commander of the militant Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a former al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria, was killed in an aerial raid that targeted a meeting of the group’s leaders. He was killed in an airstrike in the countryside of Aleppo, where the group has been playing an instrumental role in ongoing battles against the Syrian army troops and Iranian-backed Shiite militias. The nationality of the jets that hit the location was not immediately known.
The US-led coalition, Russia and Syria have been conducting air strikes against militants on the ground, but the Army of Conquest rebel coalition blamed the United States.
This comes as part of an ongoing attempt to weaken the forces fighting the Assad regime. The stance of the United States toward the Syrian revolution has proven to the world that they are not concerned with the humanitarian situation in Syria nor for the revolution, but driven solely by self-interests,” the rebel coalition said on Saturday.
The Pentagon on Friday said it played no role in the death of the top military commander of the former al Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front, who died while in a meeting of rebel leaders on Thursday to prepare for operations in Aleppo.

Syria - al-nusra 2013 & its emir abu mohammad al-jolani (2016)

The 'revolution', that created Isis

Abu Omar Saraqeb was a founding member of Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, whose fighters later gave birth to Isis.
Its “emir” Abu Mohammad al-Jolani announced the group’s supposed departure from al-Qaeda leadership in July and re-named it as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
But the organisation, which is among the most powerful rebel forces in the Syrian civil war, has not been shy of declaring its Islamist ambitions, announcing it would “continue our jihad” with the aim of establishing an “Islamic government” and the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad.
Analysts suspected the rebrand was a move to generate support from potential rebel allies deterred by al-Qaeda and the presence of foreign fighters in its ranks. It was also seen as a pitch to prevent fighters being targeted by international air strikes against Isis and other terrorist groups.
But American commanders said their operations would continue, with State Department spokesperson John Kirby saying: “They are still considered a foreign terrorist organisation. We judge a group by what they do, not by what they call themselves.”

Raqqa: An Icon of 'The Revolution'
Syria Untold, 18-1-2014

In late March 2013 Raqqa was the first major city to be completely 'liberated' by Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) and Ahrar al-Sham. The rebels declared Raqqa to be an “icon of the revolution”.
The city of Raqqa fell into the rebel’s hands on March 4, 2013 after fierce battles between the regime’s army and opposition militias, composed mainly of the Ahrar al-Sham Brigade and, to a lesser degree, al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq.
Al-Nusra soon set up its headquarters in the city’s town hall. The vacuum left by the fleeing regime forces was filled by local activists who formed several groups, including Our Right and the Raqqa Free Youth Assembly. Al-Nusra front undertook a soft approach to infiltrate the town through handouts and influencing local mosque Imams...
The following month (april 2013), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the creation of ISIS, demanding the subsuming of Jabhat al-Nusra under this structure. ISIS captured Raqqa in a bloodless move from al-Nasra Front who retreated to the town of al-Tabaqa. (Saddam's Death, page 71)

Syrian rebels Ahrar al-Sham reject truce
Al-Arabya|AFP, Monday, 12 September 2016

An influential Syrian rebel group, the hardline Ahrar al-Sham, on Sunday rejected the truce deal brokered by Russia and the United States hours before it was due to begin. A high-ranking member of the group, which works closely with former al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, said in a statement on YouTube that the deal would only serve to “reinforce” the regime of President Bashar al-Assad..
Ahrar al-Sham, which has an influential presence on the ground in Syria’s brutal war, is the first rebel group to officially react to the deal reached on Friday following marathon talks in Geneva.
“The people cannot accept half-solutions,” the group’s deputy leader Ali al-Omar said in the YouTube video to mark the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha on Monday, when the truce is due to come into force.
“The Russian-American deal... will send all the sacrifices and gains of our people who have risen up into smoke. It will only serve to reinforce the regime and surround the revolution militarily.”
Omar also rejected the aspect of the deal in which Washington is supposed to convince mainstream opposition fighters to break their alliance with Fateh al-Sham. That group, which is not covered by the truce deal, has also dismissed the accord.
“It’s simple -- the Russian-American deal is intended to eliminate those who protect Syrians,” Fateh al-Sham spokesman Mostafa Mahamed wrote on Twitter. “The negotiations and the deals which do not take account of fighters on the ground are useless.”

Kerry: Going after al-Qaeda in Syria 'not a concession to anybody'
Al-Monitor, Week in review, September 11, 2016

Syrian President performs Eid Al-Adha prayers in Darayya

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was seen attending the Sa'ad ibn Mu'azh Mosque in Darayya on Monday morning to perform Eid Al-Adha prayers in observance of this Islamic holiday. President Assad was seen driving his SUV to the mosque amid a large convoy of religious leaders and government officials in Darayya.
Darayya was surrendered to the government in late August after more than four years of non-stop fighting between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Islamist rebels. (Al-Masdar, 12/09/2016)

In his press conference Sept. 9, John Kerry went on the offense against skeptics, critics and dissenters within the US government and elsewhere.
“Going after Nusra is not a concession to anybody,” he said. “It is profoundly in the interests of the United States to target al-Qaeda — to target al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, which is Nusra, an organization that is opposed to a peaceful transition, an organization that is an enemy of the legitimate opposition, an organization that is currently plotting attacks beyond Syria’s borders, including against the United States.”...
While Russia will rightly be held accountable for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s compliance, the deal could also depend on the willingness of regional parties allied with the United States to compel their armed proxies in Syria to separate from Jabhat al-Nusra.
Disentangling these armed groups from Jabhat al-Nusra had been a sticking point in US-Russian negotations, but Kerry said Sept. 9 that the game is up.
He warned those “opposition groups who have up until now found it convenient to sort of work with them [Jabhat al-Nusra] … it would not be wise to do so in the future. It’s wise to separate oneself."

Especially on the 15th anniversary of al-Qaeda’s attack on the United States, we would simply say that al-Qaeda, its affiliates, its allies and even its “sort of” friends in Syria deserve no quarter from the US military and coalition partners.
Al-Monitor Week Review was among the first to urge the United States to take up the Russian offer to cooperate against Jabhat al-Nusra.
This column has warned about the mainstreaming of Salafi radical groups since the ascent of what was known as the “Islamic Front” three years ago.

There is still a perplexing tendency in some mainstream media outlets to lump all Syrian armed groups in Aleppo and other regions as “rebels” or “opposition,” without acknowledging a number of these groups’ linkages with Jabhat al-Nusra, their imposition of harsh Sharia and their many violations of human rights.

Bashar al-Assad in Darayya, youtube-vid, 12-9-2016

Fetullah Gülen's 'wake-up call'
Fight Intellectual Passivity

1 Thessalonians 5:6,7: Therefore let us not sleep,
as do others; but let us watch and be sober…

Fetullah Gülen: Please, use your brain

How many cells do we have in our brain,
according to scientists we have more than 10 billion,
These 10 billion cells in the brain are waiting for a command to take action, to think and reflect...
Since God has put them in those positions,
with many soldiers there as well.
I think you can conquer many things.
But I think they are asleep now, yes asleep..
Because they were not given duties,
or didn't face any difficulties.

Turkish Foreign Minister: Ground Operation in Raqqa Crucial for ISIL Defeat
FARS News Agency, 8-9-2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that a ground operation in the the Syrian city of Raqqa against the ISIL could not be carried out by Turkey alone and must be thoroughly planned.
"Ground operation in the Syrian city of Raqqa against ISIL militant group is vital for achieving victory over terrorists," Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday, Sputnik reported.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted US President Barak Obama’s proposal for a joint operation to free Raqqa from ISIL.
"If we want to cleanse Syria and Iraq of ISIL, it is important that we mount operations both in Iraqi Mosul and in Raqqa. We have always said that if we do not support local forces on the ground, if there is no land operation, it will not be possible to eliminate or even stop ISIL exclusively from the air," Cavusoglu said, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency. A ground operation could not be carried out by Turkey alone and must be thoroughly planned, according to the minister.
"It is not just us but other countries that must train and equip local forces that must contribute and give direction," Cavusoglu stated.
The city of Raqqa is the de facto ISIL capital and their major stronghold in Syria. It has been under control of the militants since August 2014. On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of the ISIL militant group.

Qatari Emir: "Regional people are going through tough times"
Islamic Republic News Agency, 12-9-2016

Tehran, Sept 12, IRNA – President Hassan Rouhani underlined in a telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani the need for cooperation among regional and persian Gulf states.
President Rouhani pointed to the spread of extremism, violence and terrorism in the region, and said, 'Unfortunately, the region is not in a favorable situation and we are all duty-bound to make efforts to establish stability in the region and reinforce fraternity.”
The Qatari emir, for his part, said that Qatar and Iran have always maintained cordial and deep-rooted relations, adding, 'Qatar welcomes expansion of relations with Iran in all fields.'
He said that the two countries should make use of their relations to resolve complicated and difficult problems in the region, adding, 'The Islamic Republic of Iran plays an influential role in regional developments which also serves Qatar’s interests.'
The Qatari emir underlined the importance of improving dialogue between Iran and the Persian Gulf littoral states, and said, 'The existing problems must be settled by regional states and not foreign powers.'
He added that interaction among countries in the region would undoubtedly serve the interests of regional people who are going through tough times in fighting terrorism.

Interview with Shaykh Ramadan al-Buti:

"Let us turn to the age of Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifa`i, may Allah sanctify his soul. Now that is an amazing man. He always used to say in his gatherings, in front of his murids, something that he would repeat again and again – that he was not a shaykh, and not a murshid, and warned against people looking at him in that light.
He said in one of his gatherings – and this can be found in his book al-Burhan al-Muayyid – “May I be resurrected with Fir’aun and Hamman if I consider myself better than any one from among you.”
“I am not a shaykh. I am not a shaykh... My name is Little Ahmad, The Nothing. Or better yet, Nothing.." – this is what (Sh. Ahmad ar-Rifa’i) used to say...
I feel embarrassed before Allah when someone from among the people kisses my hand. Because I know myself, and my Lord is One who conceals and veils the mistakes of His servants. He conceals so much… He conceals. I know my shortcomings. I know how much I’ve fallen short in my relationship with my Lord... (islamictext website)

On March 21, 2013 a blast ripped through a mosque in the Syrian capital, killing prominent Sunni cleric Sheikh Mohammed Said Ramadan al-Bouti. At least 42 people have died and 84 more were wounded in the attack. Syria's SANA news agency reports that the scholar's grandson was also killed in the bombing. (Saddam's Death, page 69)

Syria truce appears to be holding on first full day
Middle East Online, 13-9-2016

DAMASCUS - A fragile ceasefire in Syria appeared to be holding..
Damascus accused the opposition of a series of violations, with its ally Moscow saying Syrian government forces were fully respecting the truce but that rebels had violated it 23 times.
"Syrian government troops have completely stopped firing" except in jihadist-held areas, but "the same cannot be said for armed units of the moderate opposition controlled by the US," said Viktor Poznikhir, a senior Russian military officer.
US Secretary of State John Kerry had said earlier that it was "far too early to draw conclusions" about the success of the ceasefire but urged all sides to seize the opportunity.

If the ceasefire holds for a week, Moscow and Washington will then begin an unprecedented joint campaign to target jihadists, including IS and former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said UN envoy Staffan de Mistura could invite government and opposition representatives to new peace talks "at the very beginning of October".
But there is still deep scepticism about whether the truce will last, with the opposition yet to officially sign on and demanding guarantees on how the ceasefire will be monitored.
A joint statement issued by nearly two dozen rebel groups late on Monday said they could not support the ceasefire.. The rebels said they had "no choice... but to pursue the fight against the regime and its allies until the last bullet and the last fighter."

Fatah Al-Sham Appreciates Terrorist Groups' Refusal to Join Truce with Syrian Gov't
FARS News Agency, 13-9-2016

TEHRAN (FNA) - Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as the al-Nusra Front) on Tuesday thanked the terrorist groups that have rejected the US-Russia negotiated ceasefire with the Syrian government...
Fatah al-Sham, in a statement, termed the truce agreement as a fresh plot and appreciated the leaders and members of 22 terrorist groups that did not accept the ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US.
At least 22 terrorist groups, mostly affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), announced earlier today that they would not abide by the truce agreement that went into effect on Monday night.

Faylaq al-Sham, Nouralddeen al-Zinki movement, al-Faoj al-Awal, al-Ferqa 101, Faylaq al-Homs, Jeish al-Islam, Etihad al-Islami al-Ajnad al-Sham, Ansar al-Islam Front, al-Ferqa 13, Liwa al-Fatah, al-ferqa Shomaliyeh, al-Shamiyeh Front, Kataeb al-Safwa al-Islamiyeh, al-Ferqa al-Wosta, Fastwom Kama Amrat, Jeish al-Nasr, Jeish al-Tahrir, Liwa al-Soqouu Jabal al-Zawiyeh, Liwa al-Horiyeh al-Islami, al-Isaleh Front, al-Tamiyeh and Jund al-Badr 313.

Aid to Aleppo

Preparations are underway for the delivery of aid to Aleppo. Regime troops and allied militias pulled back from Castello Road, the northern route into rebel-held eastern Aleppo, and Russian soldiers were taking up the vacated positions “preparing for the humanitarian aids to be distributed.”
Around 20 trucks of aid crossed into northern Syria from Turkey, Reuters reported, citing a witness. Damascus, however, has said that it will not permit any aid to enter the country without the coordination of the Syrian government and the UN, state media SANA reported on Tuesday. A source at the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA that Damascus particularly rejected aid from Turkey, accusing Ankara of backing terrorist groups.
“Since the very beginning of the crisis in Syria, Turkey has always provided support to the armed terrorist organizations and supplied them with money, arms, not to mention harboring terrorists, assisting them and bringing mercenaries from all over the world to murder the Syrian people and destroy their country,” the source said.
The United Nations is waiting to ensure the truce holds before they start delivering aid. (Rudaw, 13-9-2016)

Ahmed Jarba: Arab Nationalism led to the destruction of the Arab countries
Rudaw News, 13-9-2016

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Ahmed Jarba, head of Syria's opposition group known as the Al-Ghad Front, says that Sunday's agreement with the administration in the country's Kurdish enclave -- known as Rojava -- is a "new chapter of brotherly relations between Arabs and Kurds."
His comments came after a coalition was set up between the two groups in the Egyptian capital Cairo on broad cooperation in Rojava and elsewhere in Syria.
"We do not wish to isolate our Kurdish brothers. We reject the Arabs who rode the wave of Arab nationalism and Baathist chauvinism that led to the destruction of the Arab countries," Jarba said.
According to the agreement, the territorial integrity of Syria will be respected but the Kurdish-administrated cantons in the country will be recognized as lawful and seen as a model for the future Syria. Kurds in Syria have set up three federal entities in the northern corners of the country which together make up their political enclave called Rojava.
Under the terms of the agreement the Ghad Front will be allowed to set up its own branches in Rojava and be engaged in political activity. It also says a committee will be established between the two to form a common understanding about how the future Syria should be rebuilt politically and in terms of administration.

Wikipedia: The end of Arab Nationalism
Ahmad Jarba is a public opponent of Bashar al-Assad and between 6 July 2013 and 11 July 2014 he was President of the Syrian National Coalition, which is the main coalition of opposition groups in the Syrian Civil War, as well as being a member of the Syrian National Council.
On 13 September Ahmad Jarba met with the leader of the Movement for a Democratic Society, representing the de facto autonomous administration of the Federation of Northern Syria - Rojava, in order to form an agreement to participate in the governing of northeastern Syria. They issued a joint statement that "the monist powers insisting on one party, one flag and one nation are doomed to fail".

"We do not know a lot about Jarba, except that he holds a Saudi passport and he is considered a member of Michel Kilo's movement. No one knows exactly what Jarba does or what gave him the qualifications to lead the revolution.What we do know is that he has been imposed on the subjects and the country by those who assume they know its interests more than most of us..." Syrian Observer, 19-11-2013

The Arab Leaque & The Arab Homeland

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

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

Flashback: Gadhafi Criticizes the Arab League
By Bridget Johnson,

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

We are our own enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more: Saddam's Death Page 16: 2012

Britain’s Libya intervention flawed, lawmakers
Al-Arabya|Reuters, 14 September 2016

Bernard-Henri Levy 2011: Turning to Syria

Bernhard Levy argues that NATO intervention to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi has set a “precedent” in the 21st century for developing a new doctrine for toppling regimes...
Levy goes on to affirm that the Syrian regime will be toppled along the lines of the Libyan scenario, adding that all that is left in Syria is “the final scene which has not been completely written yet.” (Al-Akhbar, 23-11-2011)
Britain’s 2011 military intervention in Libya, ordered by former prime minister David Cameron, relied on flawed intelligence and hastened the North African country’s political and economic collapse, lawmakers said on Wednesday in a damning report.
Britain and France led international efforts to help oust Libya’s then-leader Muammar Qaddafi in early 2011, using fighter jets to beat back Qaddafi’s armies...
But Libya has since suffered years of chaos. ISIS has gained a foothold, former rebels still fight over territory and people smugglers have set up a huge operation, sending tens of thousands on the perilous sea journey to Europe.
Cameron, who ran Britain from 2010 until July, had a “decisive” role in the decision to intervene and must bear the responsibility for Britain’s role in the crisis in Libya, a report produced by parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said.
“The UK’s actions in Libya were part of an ill-conceived intervention, the results of which are still playing out today,” said committee chairman Crispin Blunt, a member of Cameron’s Conservative party.
“UK policy in Libya before and since the intervention of March 2011 was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the country and the situation.” The committee’s statement said the “ultimate responsibility rests with David Cameron’s leadership”.
The report said his government failed to identify from intelligence reports that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element.
The post-intervention response was also lacking, it said. “Our lack of understanding of the institutional capacity of the country stymied Libya’s progress in establishing security on the ground and absorbing financial and other resources from the international community,” Blunt said.

Read also: Saddam's Death, page 54

Kurds reject Syrian opposition’s transition plan
"They are the students of the Baathist and Arab nationalist culture"
ARA News, Wladimir van Wilgenburg, September 14, 2016

Syrian Kurds are angered by the recent transition plan proposed by the Saudi backed 'High Negotiations Committee' (led by former Syrian prime minister Riyadh Hijab), as the plan does not recognize any form of federalism for a post-war Syria.
The High Negotiations Committee proposed the principle of administrative decentralization in managing the country’s affairs.
“Giving the people of each governorate and district a role in managing their local affairs: economic, communal, and daily life affairs in ways that do not adversely affect the unity of the country,” the proposal said.
However, the Kurds are not satisfied with the transition plan which does not recognize any form of autonomy for the Kurds.
“This proposed plan makes one feels sorry for the Syrian situation; after five years of bloodshed, the opposition is still thinking and acting in the same political way,” Bader Mustafa, a member of the Kurdish Youth Movement (TCK), told ARA News.
“The Syrian opposition wants to replace the Assad regime with the same centralised power,” he said. “I am sure they will not achieve this, and the civil war will continue in Syria as long as this opposition keeps thinking in this Baathist way.”

Speaking to ARA News, member of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, Zara Salih, said the Syrian opposition is no different from the Baath-regime. “To convince the Syrian opposition on Kurdish rights cannot be achieved, because they are the students of the Baathist and Arab nationalist culture,” he said. “They cannot change their mentality over the night.”
“The Syrian opposition members keep showing a racist attitude towards the Kurds..” Salih told ARA News.
Therefore, the Kurdish politician suggested that it would be better for the KNC to withdraw from the Syrian opposition, and try to reach a deal with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that recently signed an agreement with Syria’s Tomorrow Movement led by Ahmed Jarba, the former head SNC, recognizing the local self-administrations.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President
Syria Times, Sunday, 11 September 2016

On the birthday of President Bashar Hafez Al-Assad, born September 11th, 1965, one would but congratulate all humanity and goodness, congratulate the majority of Syrians, friends, the Resistance and all supporters of justice, knowledge, and civilization against injustice, ignorance and barbarity.

What Is the Meaning of the Number 911?
Ask- (Numerology website)

9-1-1 is the phone number for emergencies in the US, and the World Trade Center bombing took place on 9/11.
With these mental associations, many people who start seeing 911 regularly worry that it’s some sort of bad omen, or a warning of a challenge or emergency to come.
But if you see 911… Don’t worry! 911 is an Angel number...
911 is most often a message from the angels to stay positive about your life and your soul purpose.

Number 911 carries the vibrations of number 9, and the energies of number 1 appearing twice, amplifying its own energies and also relating to the Master Number 11:
Number 9 resonates with the attributes of Universal Spiritual Laws, compassion, benevolence and generosity, living life as a positive example, leadership, service to humanity and lightworking. Number 9 also relates to endings and conclusions.
Number 1 resonates with self-reliance, new beginnings and progress, activity and energy, inspiration, attainment, fulfilment and creating your own reality.
The double 1 resonates with the karmic Master Number 11, which brings its attributes of illumination and enlightenment, inspiration, alternate consciousness, mysticism, catalyst, sensitivity, enthusiasm, creative/creativity.
This makes the number 911 a powerfully spiritual vibration that breaks through the 'old' to create the 'new'.

Angel Number 21 (1965: 1+9+6+5 = 21) is a message from your angels for you to be aware of your thoughts as they are manifesting your ideas and beliefs into reality. Angel Number 21 encourages you to be optimistic and maintain a positive attitude regarding current changes and/or circumstances in your life, as this will help to manifest your desired results.

Belief in angels is one of the six Articles of Faith in Islam, just like the belief in Tawheed/Tauhid (Oneness of Allah) and the Risalah (Prophet-hood). Angels are heavenly beings, mentioned many times in the Quran and hadith literature. The angel Jibreel (Gabriel) is the most important (prominent) messenger angel, as he delivers the message of God (Allah) to the Islamic prophets.
Numbers play an important part in Judaic ritual practices and are believed to be a means for understanding the divine. In early Hebrew history the interpretation of numbers was considered highly important. The Hebrew alphabet was based on numbers, and this relationship was related to the cosmic forces. In the Middle Ages, a numerical mysticism evolved from the teachings of Merkabah, a sect of Judaism. In the 13th century the German Kabbalists developed gematria, a mystic numerical interpretation of the Scriptures.

Russian army chief travels to Turkey to discuss military cooperation in Syria
Al-Masdar News Desk - 15/09/2016

ANKARA, TURKEY - The Russian Army's Chief of Staff, General Valeri Gerasimov, is set to arrive in Ankara today to discuss Russo-Turkish military cooperation in Syria, Interfax News Agency reported a half hour ago.
General Gerasimov will meet with his counterpart in Ankara to discuss the potential of a coordinated attack against the terrorist forces operating inside Syria.
Following Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit with Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg last month, the two countries have significantly improved their diplomatic relations.
While the Turkish regime have improved their relations with Damascus, the former has not halted the flow of jihadist rebels into the country; this is something Russia is attempting to persuade Ankara to stop.

According to the statement of Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konasenkov, the Russian general will travel to Turkey to talk with his Turkish counterpart General Hulusi Akar.
The United States and Russia agreed a plan to impose a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war and lay the foundation for a peace process last Friday. The Syrian truce was extended by a further 48 hours following an agreement between both sides.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), partnering with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces, initiated Operation Euphrates Shield on August 24 to liberate northern Syria towns from regional terror groups such as Daesh, PYD and PKK. (Daily Sabah, 14-9-2016)

Report reveals PKK, PYD weaponry provided by the West
Daily Sabah, 15-9-2016

While Turkey continues its combat operation against terror groups within the country and abroad, reports obtained by Ankara reveal that Western countries; namely, the U.S., is the primary actor supplying arms to PKK's Syrian offshoot the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The reports obtained by Ankara were presented to the Western countries during bilateral talks with solid evidence.
Ankara considers the PYD and the YPG to be the Syrian offshoots of the PKK terrorist organization, which has been waging war on Turkey for decades, and these terror groups have declared their presence west of the Euphrates, crossing a red line.
However, despite Turkey having stressed that the PYD is a terrorist PKK affiliate, the U.S. and other Western countries insist that the group in Syria is an ally.

Russia: Dissolve US-Arab-Israeli Syria war room
DEBKAfile (Israeli military intelligence website), 12-9-2016

In another move to grab control of the Syrian arena, the Kremlin marked the start of the US-Russian brokered ceasefire in Syria on Sept 12 with a push for the United States to dissolve the war room that has been running anti-Assad operations from a venue north of the Jordanian capital Amman.
The US Central Command Forward Command in Jordan has for three years run the command and communications functions of select rebel ground operations against Bashar Assad, especially insofar as US special operations units and air force were involved.
Jordanian, Saudi, Israeli, Qatari and United Arab Emirates officers serve alongside American commanders.
This forward command has evolved, according to our sources, into the nerve center of the military campaigns waged by this coalition against the Syrian army and its allies in southern Syria and also against the Islamic State in southeastern Syria and parts of western Iraq.
In January 2016, President Vladimir Putin had the Saudis talk King Abdullah into establishing a Russian-Jordanian forward command outside Amman alongside the American war room... Over the past months, the Russian-led command center has gradually nudged the US war room into an inferior role in the control of ongoing operations.
Last week, in the course of the marathon talks on a Syrian truce held by US Secretary of State John Kelly and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, the American delegation was suddenly confronted with a demand to shut down the Centcom forward command in Jordan...
If President Barack Obama submits to Moscow’s demand, our sources point out, it would mean curtains for Israeli, Saudi, Qatar and Emirate officers participation in the Amman command.
They would be sent home and their governments would find themselves out in the cold in relation to coordinated Russia-US and Jordanian operations in Syria.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in talks with Pope at Vatican
The National staff, September 15, 2016

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, also Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, flew into Rome on Wednesday. He and Pope Francis will discuss bilateral ties between the UAE and Vatican, and ways to further develop them.
They will also review joint efforts in promoting tolerance, discussion and coexistence as part of efforts to achieve security, peace and stability in the region and the world.
Upon landing, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted that peace and security were the gateway to comprehensive and sustainable development for all.
"There is a pressing need for stronger cooperation between countries and organisations to formulate policies that promote values of tolerance and dialogue and constructive communication between civilisations."
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said Islam is a religion of tolerance and moderation, which calls for dialogue and peace:
"Terrorist groups that pretend to act in its name deviate from its true path. The first step toward defeating these groups is to see them as criminal groups, regardless of religion, race or geographic location," he said.

Statement from Syria Muslim Brotherhood
We will defend 'the Revolution" against the evil Iranian-Russian plots
IkhwanWeb, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"We will bring back Islam to Syria"
Muslim Brotherhood Syria

With all the international, regional and local developments impacting Syrian territories, and the obstacles placed in the path of achieving the legitimate aspirations of our people, the Muslim Brotherhood issues this statement to all Syrians...
The international and regional situation has exceeded all the laws and the principles and values ​​of human civilization, upon which the International Organization of the United Nations was established.
The so-called "Friends of the Syrian People" proved to be nothing but a big trick. Now, everyone can see that there is a determined desire and an international conspiracy to deny the Syrian people their basic human rights.
This is all done under headings, pretexts and allegations such as "the war on terror", "protection of minorities", "maintaining Syrian unity", or "protection of Syria's state institutions".

International complicity was clear as the major powers allowed an influx of tens of thousands of Iranian murderers into Syria to participate in the killing of Syrian citizens, and allowed the terrorist Qassem Soleimani to walk freely all over Syrian territories... This international complicity was also clear as the major powers prevented the arming of Syrians with air defense systems to help protect their lives, and refused to establish a safe buffer zone for displaced Syrians.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria understands the international plot being orchestrated and carried out against the Syrian people and its future generations... The group affirms and declares as follows:

Sheikh Mohamed al-Arifi (on podium), a leading Saudi cleric, calls for jihad in Syria during the conference on the stance of Muslim scholars on the situation in Syria.
(Daily News, 15-6-2013: 'Brotherhood supports calls for jihad in Syria')
- The group condemns and denounces the suspicious silence regarding the influx of tens of thousands of fighters in what has recently been called "Shiite Liberation Army".
- The group also condemns operations that go under the pretext of fighting terrorism to continue bombing and killing our people, as happened in the latest Kerry - Lavrov agreement.
- The group also declares that the objective of the siege, bombardment, invasion and dubious alliances is brutal murder and forced displacement to break the will of our people, and to impose a military solution on the people's representatives, under the false title of a 'political solution' allegedly sponsored by the UN.

Facing up to revelations of this international conspiracy to impose a Russian – Iranian military on our people, the group announces the following:

1. The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria will not be a conduit for the crime of terminating the revolution, nor a bridge through which evil plots of the Russians and the Iranians and their accomplices are passed.
2. With all due respect for national action institutions and participants therein, the group declares it will always endeavor to make the positions of these institutions harmonious with the goals of the revolution...
3. The group affirms the autonomy of its patriotic decision, and declares that its commitment to retribution for the martyrs' blood and the Syrian people's sacrifices, and its support for the best interest of the Syrian revolution, are two things about which it will not hesitate or compromise.
4. Despite the siege imposed on it, in many forms, by various international and regional powers, the group will continue to put all its resources in the service of Syria and the revolution...

The Protection of Beauty - a Basic Human Right
41 Photos of Beautiful Syria Before the War - Nada Kabil

"Allah is beautiful and loves beauty"